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U.S. Congressional Legislation: Corporate Crime

- A bill (H.R. 323) introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) would require that the government keep statistics on all administrative, civil, and criminal judicial proceedings against companies and company officials that involve fines of $1,000 or more. The government would make information on improper conduct by companies with revenues of more than $1 billion available to the public via a Web site.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: CFATS

- A House of Representatives subcommittee recently held a hearing to discuss the government’s Chemical Facility Anti-terrorism Standards (CFATS) program. Under CFATS, chemical facilities work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a security program based on a facility’s risk level. The program, which was established in 2007, will expire at the end of this year. Lawmakers asked witnesses to give their opinions of the program and to address whether it should be made permanent.

Legal Report

- A company's media policy is overbroad, and a police officer is not liable for a recordkeeping error, according to the courts. Lawmakers consider chemical facility security, corporate crime, and airport screening.

Industry News

- An ASIS council holds a meeting on public-private partnerships, the CSO Roundtable hosts its Latin American Summit, two lucky Security Management readers win an iPad, and Anthony N. Byers, CPP, is profiled.  

State Legislation: Michigan: Background Checks

- A bill (S.B. 15) introduced in Michigan would prohibit certain convicted felons from being employed by the state. Under the bill, the state could not hire anyone who had been convicted of a felony involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a breach of public trust in the previous 20 years to any position in which the employee would set policy or have discretionary authority over public assets.

State Legislation: California: School Safety

- A new bill (A.B. 13) introduced in the California Assembly would expand prohibitions against sex offenders working in state schools. Under existing law, public schools may not employ anyone convicted of a sex crime or controlled substance offense unless the conviction is reversed or the charges are dismissed. The new bill would clarify that these provisions also apply to charter schools. The bill would also prohibit anyone who has been convicted of a sex crime, controlled substance offense, or violent crime from working as a volunteer in schools.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Homeland Security

- A new law (P.L. 112-3) signed into law by President Obama reauthorizes portions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire in this year. A provision granting the government the right to conduct roving electronic surveillance and a provision that designates that a “lone wolf” terrorist is considered an agent of a foreign government were both set to expire at the end of February. The new law only extends the measures through May 2011, though several bills were introduced to extend the measures for longer periods of time.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Background Checks

- A bill (H.R. 321) introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) would make it illegal for employers to use the credit history of an applicant or employee in employment decisions. The prohibition stands even if the applicant or employee gives authorization for the use of credit information.

Elsewhere in the Courts: Background Checks

- A decision by a federal appeals court clarifies that a private employer may consider an applicant’s bankruptcy filings in hiring decisions. The plaintiff, who was not hired for a job because he had filed for bankruptcy seven years earlier, sued his prospective employers, claiming they had violated a federal law that prohibits the government from making hiring decisions based on bankruptcy status. The court noted that the private sector is not bound by the law.

U.S. Judicial Decisions: Background Screening

- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a background screening program used by a government agency does not violate employee privacy rights. In the case, 28 employees of the California Institute of Technology, under contract to do work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), claim that the government’s screening policy is too intrusive. The policy was implemented in 2004 under a government homeland security directive.

Legal Report

- Courts issue decisions on the use of corporate e-mail for private purposes, the seizure of text messages by police, and background screening for government employees.

State Legislation: Massachusetts: Vital Records

- Massachusetts has approved a new law (formerly H.B. 4910) that addresses the security of vital records in the state. The law empowers state and town clerks to refuse to issue a copy of a vital record if they suspect that the request for the record has been falsely made, altered, forged, counterfeited, or procured through fraud.

State Legislation: Mississippi: Bullying

- A new law (formerly S.B. 2015) in Mississippi prohibits bullying or harassing behavior in public schools. School employees are required to report any such behavior to school officials. Under the new law, all schools must adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment.
 




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