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U.S. Judicial Decisions: Defamation

- A woman may pursue a lawsuit against her employer after a company executive falsely accused her of illegally pulling a fire alarm. The woman was arrested and charged in the incident. According to a federal court, the woman may pursue her allegations of defamation, invasion of privacy, negligent intention of emotional distress, and false imprisonment.

Hostile Work Environment

- A court has ruled that a woman may pursue her hostile work environment claim even though the gender-based slurs at the root of the case were not made exclusively to one gender. The appeals court overturned a lower court’s ruling that the comments made by the abuser were not pervasive enough and that they didn’t create a hostile environment because his abuse was indiscriminate.

Workplace Searches

- The employee of a federal correctional institution may pursue his lawsuit against the facility after he was fired for refusing to submit to a search of his vehicle. The question of whether inmates could access employees’ parked cars and potentially plant contraband cast doubt on the constitutionality of the search, said the court in its decision, available online.

Workplace Safety

- An employee who claimed that his erratic driving behavior was caused by a workplace toxin rather than alcohol cannot contest his DWI conviction. Read the decision in which the court noted that the law prohibits driving while impaired by any substance whether taken voluntarily or due to workplace exposure.

Lawmakers Seek to Close Corruption Loophole

- The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Tuesday to discuss a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, which narrowed the application of federal law that prosecutors had used to bring fraud cases against corrupt corporate executives and politicians.

Age Discrimination

- An employee who was not rehired after a layoff because he was “troublesome” may not sue his former employer for age discrimination. A federal appeals court ruled that the employee’s history of disputes with coworkers and his poor reputation in the workplace served as a nondiscriminatory reason for refusing to rehire him.

Investigations

- An employee may not sue her employer for retaliation after the company failed to investigate her original discrimination claim, a federal appeals court has ruled. Failure to investigate in such instances does not constitute an adverse employment action, according to the court.

Weapons

- A Colorado state law allows students to carry concealed weapons at the University of Colorado, according to a state appeals court. The court noted that the statute does not list public universities in its list of exceptions. Read the decision.

Morning Security Brief: NIST Issues Testing Procedures, Dreadlocks Not a Clear Sign of Religion, and HHS Withdraws Privacy Rule

- New cybersecurity procedures for testing health information are issued; an applicant who sued a security guard company may not pursue his religious discrimination claim; and a federal health agency has withdrawn a final rule over privacy concerns.

Credit Reporting Agencies Responsible for Watch List Errors

- A federal appeals court has ruled that a credit reporting agency can be held responsible for correcting errors on credit reports that originated from government watch lists.

Seminar Speaker Spotlight: Dr. James Pastor--Guns in the Workplace

- Author and security professional Dr. James Pastor discusses how the recent Supreme Court ruling reaffirming an individual's right to bear arms and other state gun laws will affect the security profession.

Police Must Obtain a Warrant Before Using GPS Tracking

- A federal appeals court has ruled that police may not use a global positioning satellite unit to track a person’s movements for a long period of time without a warrant.

Supreme Court Update: Sarbanes-Oxley

- The Court has upheld most of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, enacted in response to the accounting scandals at Enron and other companies. However, the Court did overturn part of the law that required that members of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, established to monitor accounting firms, be fired only for “cause.” The Court said that the board members may be fired at will.
 




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