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Site Map - Legal Issues

Privacy

- A bill (S. 2389) introduced by Sen. George Allen (R-VA) that would make it illegal to solicit, acquire, or sell another person’s confidential telephone records without that person’s consent has been approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. A similar provision (S. 2178) has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. S. 2178 would prohibit obtaining confidential phone records by fraud or any other unauthorized means from a telecommunications carrier or IP-enabled service provider. Under the measure, the sale of such records by anyone would be punishable by up to five years in prison. The penalty doubles for repeat violations within a 12-month period and for violations involving more than $100,000 or more than 50 customers. Law enforcement activities are exempt.

Harassment

- An employee may not claim harassment against her employer, because the company took action to respond to her complaints, rules the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Legal Report

- The Ninth Circuit on the ADA and mental illness; pending U.S. laws on counterfeiting, privacy, and transit; new legislation in Missouri and Virginia

Firearms

- A new bill (H.B. 146) introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates would prohibit anyone who is carrying a concealed weapon into a restaurant or club from consuming alcohol on the premises. Certain people would be exempt under the bill including the owner of the premises in question and law enforcement officers. Members of target-shooting organizations and gun-collecting clubs would be exempt only if their weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped.

Counterfeiting

- A bill (H.R. 32) that would prohibit trafficking in labels or similar packaging, with knowledge that a counterfeit mark has been applied to them, has been approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It has been sent to President Bush for his approval. Under the bill, the definition of “counterfeit mark” includes any mark on a label or packaging that is substantially indistinguishable from a trademarked design, and that is likely to mislead consumers. Under H.R. 32, any article that bears a counterfeit mark will be subject to forfeiture.

Privacy

- Several bills that would prohibit the sale of telephone records to third parties have been approved by congressional committees. Though the bills vary slightly in detail, they all would impose stiff penalties on violators. The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved S. 2178, which would prohibit obtaining confidential phone records by fraud or any other unauthorized means from a telecommunications carrier or IP-enabled service provider. Under the measure, the sale of such records by anyone is punishable by up to five years in prison. The penalty doubles for repeat violations within a 12-month period, and for violations involving more than $100,000 or more than 50 customers. Law enforcement activities are exempt under the bill. Two related bills (H.R. 4709 and H.R. 4714) have been approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

See You in Court

- Managers must be well versed in the many ways that discrimination cases can arise to avoid exposing the company to legal claims.

Negligent Misrepresentation

- A New Jersey court has ruled that an employer who chooses to give references on former employees can be held liable for misleading or incomplete information given on those references. In the case, Marsha Singer was fired after her previous employer lied about her job title, calling her a customer service representative when she was actually vice president of operations. (Singer v. Beach Trading, Superior Court of New Jersey, No. A-1617-04T5, 2005)

Identity Theft

- A bill (S. 1789) introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and designed to thwart identity theft has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate has agreed to consider the measure.
 




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