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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.

Legal Report

- Rulings on workers' compensation claims, discrimination, privacy, and workplace violence; plus legislation on identity theft, bullying, and drug testing.

Legal Report

- Must an employer investigate suspicions that a worker is viewing child porn at work? Plus, Congress on the Patriot Act reauthorization, identity theft, and border security.

Discrimination

- A new law (formerly H.B. 2661) prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Under the new law, an employer may not refuse to hire someone or make any hiring inquiry into a person's sexual orientation. A company also may not discharge someone or discriminate in compensation based on sexual orientation. The new designation allows employees who feel they have been discriminated against to sue their employers for back pay, reinstatement, and emotional distress.

Firearms

- A bill (H.B. 129) introduced by Florida lawmakers would make it a felony to prohibit employees from leaving guns in their cars while parked in company parking lots.

Border security

- A bill (H.R. 4238) introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) would build on the President’s border security initiative by requiring aliens to post bond to be released from mandatory detention centers and by using more federal facilities as detention centers.

Identity theft

- A bill (H.R. 4244) introduced by Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-OR) would establish grants for regional task forces designed to investigate and prosecute identity theft and other economic crimes. The task forces would comprise federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
 




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