INFORMATION

Site Map - Legal Report

Identity theft

- A new law (formerly S.B. 1048) controls how Social Security numbers are collected and distributed by state businesses and government agencies.

Identity theft

- Several bills that address identity theft are pending in the Senate. One bill (S. 1326), introduced by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), would require any person or agency that stores or controls sensitive personal information to protect that data from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure. Another identity theft bill (S. 1408) is also pending in the Senate. S. 1408, which would set national standards requiring businesses to report data security breaches to customers, has been approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. To advance, it must be taken up by the full Senate. A third bill (S. 1789), introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), would enhance penalties for those who use computers to commit identity theft crimes. It would also provide law enforcement officials with more money to investigate and prosecute identity theft.

First responders

- A bill (H.R. 1646) introduced by Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) would dedicate certain radio frequencies for use by first responders and public service agencies. The Federal Communications Commission would have to dedicate some existing frequencies and assign new frequencies for this use by January 1, 2007.

Transportation security

- The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held hearings on a proposed transportation security bill (S. 1052) that would require the Homeland Security Department to establish a task force to conduct a vulnerability and risk assessment of freight and passenger rail transportation systems

Legal Report

- Rulings on a zero tolerance policy for workplace violence and sexual harassment; federal guidance on avoiding family-obligation discrimination; plus legislation on gun control, courthouse security, and privacy.

Discrimination

- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a female employee missed the chance to sue her employer for paying her less than her male counterparts over a nine-year period because she did not file her case within 180 days of the offense. The court said the clock started ticking from the day she got the job, rather than being reset with each new paycheck. This is a departure from years of discrimination case law. The only way to have a current claim against years of discriminatory pay would be for the plaintiff to show that recent decisions, such as raises or promotions, were discriminatory. (Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Inc., U.S. Supreme Court, No. 05-1074, 2007)

RFID

- A bill (S.B. 29) that would prohibit schools from requiring that students wear RFID badges has been approved by the California Senate and is pending in the California Assembly’s Judiciary Committee.

Domestic Violence

- Florida Governor Charlie Crist has signed a law (formerly H.B. 55) that requires employers to allow workers to take up to three days off a year to deal with domestic violence issues. However, it is up to employers to determine whether these days are paid or unpaid.

Privacy

- A bill (H.R. 948) introduced by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) that would protect the privacy of Social Security numbers has been approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It is now pending before the House Ways and Means Committee.

Agriculture Security

- A bill (H.R. 1717) introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) that would establish a national agricultural and biodefense facility has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology. The bill will now move to a vote before the full committee. H.R. 1717 has also been referred to the House Agriculture Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Courthouse Security

- A bill (H.R. 660) that would increase courthouse security has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. It will now proceed to the full committee for a vote. The bill was introduced by Sen. John Conyers (D-MI), who chairs the Judiciary Committee.

Gun Control

- In response to the Virginia Tech shootings, the House of Representatives has approved a bill (H.R. 2640) introduced by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) that would require all states to submit information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Workplace Violence

- The California Court of Appeal has ruled that an employee who was fired after making a workplace violence complaint against a coworker may sue his employer for a violation of public policy. The court ruled that the employer’ s actions violated public policy when it failed to take steps to address credible workplace violence threats. (Franklin v. The Monadnock Company, California Court of Appeal, No. B191267, 2007)
 




Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.