INFORMATION

Site Map - Legislation

OSHA.

- The bill would allow employees to exceed that 15-day time limit if the failure to contest results from “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.” H.R. 739 would also have allowed employers with 100 or fewer employees and a net worth of $7 million or less to collect attorney’s fees if they prevailed in a dispute with OSHA.

Whistleblowers

- The bill would have prevented reprisals against government workers who publicly released information regarding waste, abuse, or gross mismanagement in the federal government.

Legal Report

- Judicial opinions on negligent hiring and premises liability, and Congress considers bills on bioterror, security guards, and emergency management.

Chemical facilities

- A bill (H.R. 5695) introduced by Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-CA) that would require that the DHS categorize dangerous chemicals as substances of concern has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee. It is still pending in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Bioterrorism

- A bill (S. 2825) introduced by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-MN) would require that the government award grants to improve the health of those living on the U.S. border with Mexico.

Alarm monitoring

- A new Florida law (formerly H.B. 1351) requires that all alarm monitoring companies attempt to contact property owners on two different phone numbers before calling for police assistance. The law, designed to help reduce the number of false alarms, is the first state law of its kind in the country, though many municipalities have already enacted similar provisions.

Data protection

- A bill (H.R. 4157) that is designed to improve the coordination and protection of health information has been approved by the House Ways and Means Committee. It is not yet clear whether the measure will continue on to a full vote in the House of Representatives.

First responders

- A bill (S. 1554) that would establish a grant program to improve overall communications equipment for first responders has been approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The measure will now be considered by the full Senate.

Chemical facilities

- A bill (S. 2145) introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) that would enhance security at chemical facilities has been approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Senate has agreed to consider the measure.

Homeland security

- The appropriations bill (H.R. 5441) funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been approved by the House of Representatives and is now pending in the Senate.

Legal Report

- Federal appeals on cases involving intellectual property and employee monitoring, regulations on counterfeit drugs, and a new cargo security bill.

Counterfeit drugs

- A bill (S. 2668) introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) would require that companies incorporate RFID tagging technology, tamper-indicating technologies, and security packaging into all prescription drugs. These technologies would be used only to authenticate the integrity of the drugs and would not be used to transmit any identifying information about healthcare practitioners, consumers, or advertisers. S. 2668 has no cosponsors and has been referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

Mine safety

- A bill (S. 2803) designed to improve mine safety and protect the health of mine workers has been approved by both houses of Congress and is awaiting the President’s signature. The bill would require mine operators to adopt and maintain an accident response plan for when miners are trapped. Under the bill, the plan would include redundant local communications systems, emergency air supplies, escapeways, emergency training, and wireless communication systems to allow contact between trapped miners and officials on the surface. To encourage new technology, the bill would provide grants for those developing new mine safety equipment. S. 2803 would also establish an interagency working group to share technology, research, and developments in mine safety and emergency response.
 




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