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U.S. Congressional Legislation: Data Security

- A bill (H.R. 2221) that would set out requirements for data security has been approved by the House of Representatives. It has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Chemical Facilities

- A bill (H.R. 2868) intended to increase security at chemical facilities has been approved by the House of Representatives. It has been referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Bioterrorism

- A bill (S. 1649) that would seek to prevent terrorist attacks in part by strengthening security at laboratories that handle dangerous pathogens has been approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The measure must now be considered by the full Senate.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Crime

- A bill (H.R. 1727) requiring that local law enforcement collect information on convicted arsonists and bombers similar to that currently collected on sex offenders has been approved by the House of Representatives. It has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Elsewhere in the Courts: Terrorism

- A federal court upheld the sentencing of disbarred attorney Lynne Stewart, who was convicted of passing messages from her client Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman to his followers.

Electronic Discovery

- A Michigan court has dismissed a sexual harassment lawsuit as a sanction for a plaintiff’s misconduct. The court ruled that the plaintiff may not pursue his case because he deleted his personal e-mail after being told to preserve it as evidence.

Legal Report

- A company that fired a potentially violent employee is not guilty of discrimination and a plaintiff who deleted e-mail loses the right to pursue the case. Also, legislative updates.

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.

State Legislation: Washington: Stalking

- A new law (formerly S.B. 1856) establishes new rights for tenants who are being stalked or harassed by their landlords or employees of their landlords. Under the new law, such victims may be released from the terms of their rental agreement. If the victim wishes to stay in the property, he or she may change the locks on their doors without the landlord’s permission. If the harasser has left the landlord’s employ, the tenant must provide the landlord with a key to the new lock. If the tenant has a restraining order against the landlord, the tenant need not provide a key. In such cases, the landlord may enter the rental property in an emergency if accompanied by law enforcement or a fire official acting in his or her official capacity.

State Legislation: Colorado: Workplace Violence

- Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., has issued an executive order requiring the state to draft a policy to address domestic violence that spills over into the workplace. The policy, which is to be in place by August, will include a training program to increase awareness of the issue and the resources available for victims.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Food Safety

- A bill (S. 510) that would allow the government to suspend the registration of a food production facility due to unsafe conditions and issue a recall of adulterated food has been approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. The Senate has not announced whether it will consider the bill.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Bioterrorism

- A bill (S. 1649) that would strengthening security at laboratories that handle dangerous pathogens has been approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The Senate has not announced whether it will consider the measure.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: FEMA

- A bill (H.R. 1174) that would reorganize the structure of disaster management agencies within the government has been approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The bill is still pending in the House Homeland Security Committee.
 




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