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Elsewhere in the Courts: Sexual Harassment

- Reversing a lower court’s decision, a federal appeals court has ruled that a police department cannot be held liable after a deputy sexually assaulted a woman he had arrested. The woman sued the police department and the sheriff for failing to properly train the deputy. The appellate court ruled that such training is unnecessary because the prohibited actions are so obviously wrong. The court also noted that it was illogical to assume that by failing to tell the deputy that sexual assault was wrong, the sheriff would cause the deputy to engage in that behavior. (Parrish v Ball, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, No. 08-3517, 2010)

Retaliation

- A worker who was terminated after she gave corporate investigators pertinent information bolstering a sexual harassment allegation brought by another woman against her boss has now been awarded $1.5 million by a Tennessee jury. The case had gone all the way to the Supreme Court, which affirmed the woman’s right to a retaliation claim.

Putting Duty of Care on the Radar

- Companies must be aware of their legal obligations to protect employees who are living or traveling abroad for business.

Caring for Patients

- How one medical center created an ambassador program within its security ranks to enhance customer service and create a career path.

Workplace Violence

- A company’s fear of workplace violence was a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for firing an employee who had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, a federal district court has ruled.

Sexual Harassment

- An employee can pursue her sexual harassment claim against her company even though she never reported the problem, a federal appeals court has ruled. The court ruled that because the employee’s supervisor took actions indicating that he knew about the harassment, he could not later claim ignorance.

Religious Discrimination

- An employee who was fired for repeatedly violating her company’s overtime policy may not sue for religious discrimination, according to a federal appeals court. The employee, a conservative Christian, claimed that her employer took action against her because of her condemnation of homosexuals.

Managing Big Egos

- Companies seeking confident and charismatic leaders might unwittingly invite narcissists into the workplace.

Quick Bytes: Security Budgets

- Security budgets will continue to grow in 2010 as spending on new security products recovers, according to a recent Forrester Research report.

Lawmakers Hold Hearing on Whistleblower Bill

- Lawmakers held a hearing to discuss a bill that would amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) by increasing penalties for violators and boosting protections for whistleblowers.

Business Partnerships Pose Escalating Data Breach Threats

- When it comes to protecting sensitive data, companies often overlook the risks stemming from business partnerships, says Verizon. (From the March 2010 Issue)

Chicago Public School HQ's Shames Naughty Web Surfers

- The administrative headquarters of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) knows how to keep its wireless network users from accessing Web sites it doesn't like: a shrieking alarm.

Discrimination

- A federal appeals court has ruled that an employee claiming she was fired for her traditional Christian beliefs may not sue her employer for discrimination. The employee repeatedly violated the company’s overtime policy, even after repeated warnings. The court ruled that the employee was fired for failing to meet the legitimate business expectations of her employer.
 




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