Site Map - The Workplace

Negligent Hiring

- A California fire department is not responsible for the sexual assault of a woman by firefighters aboard a fire truck, an appeals court has ruled. The city is not liable, in part, because the firefighters did not use their authority to lure the woman aboard the truck.

Vicarious Liability

- An employer is responsible for the death of a pedestrian killed by an employee who was returning from a conference, a California court has ruled. The conference constituted a “special errand” under state law making the employer liable for the action of the employee who was sent on that errand.

Building a Strong Staff

- A quality hiring and training program can help security managers build and retain a top-notch staff.

Survey: Most Companies' Employees Cannot Work Remotely During a Crisis

- The majority of employees at approximately three out of four organizations could not work remotely if they had to, according to a new survey.

Global Fraud Report Finds Effects of Recession Mixed

- A new report on global fraud examines trends by sector and by geographic region. Overall, the incidence of fraud year-over-year from the 2008 survey is about the same, but average loss per company has edged up from $8.2 million to $8.8 million. And that average masks larger differences among specific sectors.

Mid-Size Businesses Suffer More Cyberattacks As Security Budgets Tighten

- A recent survey shows that cybercriminals are increasingly attacking mid-sized businesses as firms freeze their IT security budgets in a tough economy, reports

Elsewhere in the Courts: Privacy

-   A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that e-mails between an employee and her attorney that were sent through the employee’s private e-mail account are privileged. The court ruled that the privilege holds even though the employee sent the e-mails from work over her employer’s computer network. The court ruled that the company’s electronic communications policy did not mean that the employee’s private e-mails became the company’s property. (Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Superior Court of New Jersey, No. A-3506-08T1, 2009)  

Elsewhere in the Courts: Sexual Discrimination

- A federal appeals court has ruled that the only male on a team of female respiratory therapists was not discriminated against when he was fired. The court found that the plaintiff was properly fired for wrongdoing—accessing inappropriate Web sites from a work computer he shared with other employees—and that computer records clearly showed that he was the culprit. (Farr v. St. Francis Hospital, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, No. 08-3203, 2009)

Elsewhere in the Courts: Liability

- A company was not responsible for the injuries caused when one of its employees became intoxicated and caused a traffic accident. Though the employee became drunk during a meeting with his supervisor at a res­taurant, his employer was not responsible for his actions because he was driving home in his own vehicle and was not conducting any job-related duty on behalf of the company. (Lev v. Beverly Enterprises, Massachusetts Appeals Court, No. 08-P-58, 2009)

Companies Need "Data Champion"

- Corporate data protection officers can help organizations keep information they collect safe, but their role should be strengthened.

As Layoffs Increase, Retaliation Claims Surge

- Layoffs may be contributing to a surge in retaliation claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Elsewhere in the Courts: Sexual Harassment

- An employee who claims that her employer should have known about inappropriate conduct in the workplace may not sue her employer for sexual harassment, according to a federal appeals court. The court ruled that the employee did not report the harassment to a management-level employee, so the company had no way of knowing about the inappropriate behavior. (Huston v. Procter & Gamble, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, No. 07-2799, 2009)

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Whistleblowers

- Lawmakers on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia recently held a hearing on a whistleblower protection bill (S. 372). The bill was introduced by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI), who chairs the subcommittee.   The bill would expand whistleblower protection of federal employees to clarify that any disclosure is protected under the law, to provide a process to review suspensions and revocations of security clearances, and to protect disclosures of censorship of scientific information.

Beyond Print

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