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Site Map - The Workplace

Security Manager's Guide to Disasters: Managing Through Emergencies, Violence, and Other Workplace Threats

- A costly overview of security-manager best practices in a book that doesn't bother to give the author's biography or professional credentials.

Harassment

- A woman has been awarded more than $1 million in damages after she was repeatedly harassed by a coworker who made disparaging racial and sexual remarks (.pdf). The woman’s managers refused to take action until the harasser physically assaulted the woman. (Freeman v. Whirlpool Corporation, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, No. 3:06-0593, 2009)

Elsewhere in the Courts: Racial Discrimination

- A federal appeals court has ruled that an employee, Dennis Ford, may not sue his employer for racial discrimination because the discrimination was not severe enough and Ford failed to pursue his complaint adequately. Ford claimed that one of his coworkers called him a “black African American,” and “black man,” on a regular basis. However, Ford reported the incident only once and during the complaint was more concerned about other issues, such as an impending raise. In addition, the name-calling stopped after the offending employee was reprimanded. (Ford v. Minteq Shapes and Services, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, No. 09-2140, 2009)

State Legislation: Utah: Hiring

- A new Utah law (formerly H.B. 206) would restrict how employers could request personal information from prospective employees. Under the law, employers may not request an applicant’s Social Security number, date of birth, or driver’s license number until after the applicant has been offered a job. The information may also be requested after the applicant has agreed to a criminal background check, credit check, or driving record check.

State Legislation: Illinois: Credit Checks

- A bill (H.B. 4658) pending in the Illinois legislature would prohibit companies from conducting credit checks on prospective employees. Under the bill, it would be illegal for companies to use credit checks to make decisions on hiring, recruiting, discharge, or compensation. Exceptions would be made for financial institutions, public safety agencies, or any other government agencies that require credit checks as a matter of law.

Laptops

- Lost laptops can cost companies about $640,000, according to an Aberdeen Group study. Best practices include using endpoint security solutions and implementing formal end-user training and awareness programs.

Lost and Found

- More than 10 million mobile phones and two million laptops are lost each year in the United States. TigerTag and BoomerangIt are lost-and-found networks that use the Internet to reunite lost items and owners. LeadsOnline works with law enforcement and businesses such as pawn shops to identify lost and stolen goods by their serial numbers.

Changing of the Guards

- Discover how a security guard company implemented a program that increased profits, improved customer satisfaction, and earned some employees a raise in the process.

Riot Police Clash with Protesting Private Security Guards After World Cup Match

- Riot police shot tear gas and rubber bullets at private security guards protesting low wages just outside a World Cup stadium in Durban, South Africa, this morning.

Honesty Isn't Just Good Policy, It's Good for the Bottom Line

- Honesty really is the best policy not only because it's ethical but also because corrupt practices will land the company in court, saddle it with costly fines, and ruin its reputation.

Elsewhere in the Courts: Age Discrimination

- A federal appeals court will allow a 58-year-old executive to pursue an age discrimination lawsuit against his employer. The highly praised executive was fired and replaced with a younger man. The court noted that a management consultant had suggested that the company enlist “young, energetic” people, a phrase that the company’s president repeated and wrote out in his notes. (Inman v. Klockner Pentaplast of America, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, No. 08-1882, 2009)

State Legislation: Oklahoma: Firearms

- A new Oklahoma law (formerly H.B. 1025) makes it illegal for employers to ask employees about their ownership of firearms. Under the law, private employees would be barred from asking applicants whether they own or possess a firearm. Violation of the law is punishable by a $1,000 fine.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Whistleblowers

- According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, 16 workers die, on average, every day on U.S. worksites, and more than four million workers suffer workplace injuries every year. To address the topic of how workplace safety laws can be improved, lawmakers on the House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on H.R. 2067 (.pdf), which would amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) by increasing penalties for violators and boosting protections for whistleblowers.
 




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