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Legal Issues

- A court rules that a business owner should have increased security because of gangs on his property. Plus, legislation on identity theft, aviation security, and discrimination.

Workplace Violence

- The Hawaii Supreme Court has ruled that a woman who was fired for joking about workplace violence is not entitled to unemployment benefits. Such benefits can be denied under state law if a worker was fired for misconduct. The employee, who had worked at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel for 22 years, was fired after she jokingly placed her hands around a coworker’s neck. (Medeiros v. Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Hawaii Supreme Court, No. 24318, 2005)

Negligent Misrepresentation

- A New Jersey court has ruled that an employer who chooses to give references on former employees can be held liable for misleading or incomplete information given on those references. In the case, Marsha Singer was fired after her previous employer lied about her job title, calling her a customer service representative when she was actually vice president of operations. (Singer v. Beach Trading, Superior Court of New Jersey, No. A-1617-04T5, 2005)

Sex Discrimination

- A federal appeals court has ruled that a woman suing her former employer for sex and pregnancy discrimination may pursue her claim even though the company replaced her with another female employee. The employee, ruled the court, need not show that she was replaced by a male employee to establish a case of sex discrimination, previously a requirement under case law. (Miles v. Dell, Inc., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, No. 04-2500, 2005)

Identity Theft

- A new law (formerly H.B. 6191) in Rhode Island will require that any business that owns or licenses computerized, unencrypted information on customers implement and maintain reasonable security measures to protect information.

Aviation security.

- A bill (H.R. 4439) introduced by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) would overhaul the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to increase aviation security.

Border security.

- The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill (H.R. 4437) that is designed to strengthen border security. The House of Representatives has agreed to consider the measure.

Identity Theft

- A bill (S. 1789) introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and designed to thwart identity theft has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate has agreed to consider the measure.

Radioactive Materials.

- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received public comments on its proposed rule to track radioactive material within the United States. The system set out in the proposed rule would require those licensed to use this radioactive material to report the manufacture, transfer, receipt, or disposal of that material. To start the program, each licensee would be required to provide the government with its inventory of radioactive material and to assign a unique serial number to each item. The NRC received 33 comments to its proposed rule. @ To read all the comments, please visit Security Management Online.

Data Retention

- The European Union has approved a new directive that would require telecommunications companies in member states to retain data generated by electronic communications—though the content of the communications may not be collected—to aid law enforcement in combating serious crimes. @ For more information on the directive, visit Security Management Online.

Legal Report

- Negligent hiring. An Illinois appellate court has ruled that a national organization established to help children cannot be held responsible for the sexual abuse of a child at its Chicago location. The court ruled that the organization had no responsibility to protect children from harm.

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.
 




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