INFORMATION

Site Map - Legal Report

Explosives.

- A bill (H.R. 4877) introduced by Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) would require that the Attorney General conduct a study on how private entities and state and local governments store explosive material that has been shipped via interstate commerce. After completing the study, the government would establish regulations for minimum security standards required for the safe and secure storage of such materials. Violation of the regulations would be punishable by a fine of $500 per pound of explosives.

Livestock identification

- A bill (H.R. 3170) introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) would establish an electronic livestock-identification system capable of tracing all U.S. livestock from the time animals are moved from their original premises to the time of slaughter. (Under the bill, livestock is defined as cattle, swine, sheep, goats, and poultry.) All records would be available within 48 hours of an animal’s relocation. The system would also track all relevant livestock information including identification number, species, and date of birth. The tracking system would be maintained in a centralized livestock data system.

Cargo security

- A bill (H.R. 4899) introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) would require that all cargo containers bound for the United States be scanned using the best-available technology—including radiation and density scanning—before they are loaded onto a ship. These scans would then be reviewed by U.S. security personnel before the container is loaded. Once scanned, the containers would be sealed with a device that would indicate whether the container has been tampered with in transit. Under the bill, this device would have to have the capability to notify officials if a breach has occurred before the container enters a U.S. port.

Privacy

- A bill (S. 2389) introduced by Sen. George Allen (R-VA) that would make it illegal to solicit, acquire, or sell another person’s confidential telephone records without that person’s consent has been approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. A similar provision (S. 2178) has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. S. 2178 would prohibit obtaining confidential phone records by fraud or any other unauthorized means from a telecommunications carrier or IP-enabled service provider. Under the measure, the sale of such records by anyone would be punishable by up to five years in prison. The penalty doubles for repeat violations within a 12-month period and for violations involving more than $100,000 or more than 50 customers. Law enforcement activities are exempt.

Port security

- A port security bill (H.R. 4954) introduced by Rep. Daniel Lungren (R-CA) has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cybersecurity

Legal Report

- The Ninth Circuit on the ADA and mental illness; pending U.S. laws on counterfeiting, privacy, and transit; new legislation in Missouri and Virginia

Firearms

- A new bill (H.B. 146) introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates would prohibit anyone who is carrying a concealed weapon into a restaurant or club from consuming alcohol on the premises. Certain people would be exempt under the bill including the owner of the premises in question and law enforcement officers. Members of target-shooting organizations and gun-collecting clubs would be exempt only if their weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped.

Bioterrorism

- A new Missouri law (formerly H.B. 413) requires that the state set up a vaccination program for first responders who would be deployed to disaster areas as a result of bioterrorism. Participation in the program is voluntary except for those first responders identified by their employers as personnel who cannot safely perform their emergency duties without the vaccinations

Legal Report

- A  Colorado bill (H.B. 1314) would prohibit employers from requiring their workers to attend religious or political meetings. Employers would not be able to penalize employees who refuse to attend these meetings as so-called “captive audiences.” The bill has been referred to two committees. The House Business Affairs and Labor Committee has approved the bill. However, it is still pending in the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee.

Body armor

- A bill (H.B. 1858) currently pending before Massachusetts lawmakers would require that security officers working at special events or on premises that serve alcohol be provided body armor for protection. The body armor would be paid for by the employer.

Public transit

- A bill (S. 2032) that would require the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to submit all public transit security assessments to the Homeland Security Department (DHS) has been approved by the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. The Senate has agreed to consider the measure. Under the bill, DHS would review the assessments and use them as the basis for allocating funds for security assistance grants. After receiving the first assessments, DHS would be required to update them, conduct new ones for all public transportation agencies considered to be at greatest risk of a terrorist attack, and use them to develop public transportation security guidelines and design a security improvement strategy. Under the bill, each public transportation agency that receives a grant must identify a security improvements coordinator and develop a comprehensive plan for operating and maintaining the equipment purchased with grant money. S. 2032 would also establish grants for public or private entities to conduct research into technologies and methods to reduce and deter terrorist threats or mitigate damages resulting from terrorist attacks against public transit systems.

Privacy

- Several bills that would prohibit the sale of telephone records to third parties have been approved by congressional committees. Though the bills vary slightly in detail, they all would impose stiff penalties on violators. The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved S. 2178, which would prohibit obtaining confidential phone records by fraud or any other unauthorized means from a telecommunications carrier or IP-enabled service provider. Under the measure, the sale of such records by anyone is punishable by up to five years in prison. The penalty doubles for repeat violations within a 12-month period, and for violations involving more than $100,000 or more than 50 customers. Law enforcement activities are exempt under the bill. Two related bills (H.R. 4709 and H.R. 4714) have been approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

See You in Court

- Managers must be well versed in the many ways that discrimination cases can arise to avoid exposing the company to legal claims.
 




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