INFORMATION

Site Map - Legislation

Legal Report

- Rulings on employment issues and privacy, plus legislation on first responders and fire safety.

New Bill Would Make it Easier to Prosecute Identity Theft

- A new bill introduced in Congress would make it easier for the federal government to prosecute identity theft cases.

Amendment to Defense Bill Would Prevent Transfer of Guantanamo Prisoners

- A amendment to the 2011 defense department authorization bill would prohibit the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States.

State Legislation: Credit Checks

- A new law (formerly S.B. 1045) recently enacted in Oregon will prohibit most employers from conducting a credit check on current or prospective employees. The law exempts some types of employees—such as those who work at federally insured banks and credit unions, law enforcement personnel, airport security, and any other employees who must undergo a credit check as a matter of law. The law also allows an employer to conduct a credit check if it is “substantially job-related.” To exercise this exemption, employers must disclose the reasons for the check to the employee in writing. The law will not affect the use of other types of background checks.

State Legislation: Oklahoma: Firearms

- A new Oklahoma law (formerly H.B. 1025) makes it illegal for employers to ask employees about their ownership of firearms. Under the law, private employees would be barred from asking applicants whether they own or possess a firearm. Violation of the law is punishable by a $1,000 fine.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Cybersecurity

- A bill (S. 773) that would establish a high-level cybersecurity office in the government and encourage public-private partnerships to improve cybersecurity has been approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. The bill must now be considered by the full Senate.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Whistleblowers

- According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, 16 workers die, on average, every day on U.S. worksites, and more than four million workers suffer workplace injuries every year. To address the topic of how workplace safety laws can be improved, lawmakers on the House Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on H.R. 2067 (.pdf), which would amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) by increasing penalties for violators and boosting protections for whistleblowers.

State Legislation: Indiana: Firearms

- A new Indiana law (formerly H.B. 1065) signed by Governor Mitch Daniels makes it illegal for a company to prohibit employees from keeping firearms locked in their cars on company property. The bill would also apply to contract employees. Exemptions are provided for schools, penal institutions, childcare facilities, and domestic violence shelters. Companies that violate the law could face liability in a civil court. However, the bill stipulates that, if employers comply with the law, they cannot be held liable for injuries or damage resulting from the policy.  

State Legislation: New Hampshire: Biometrics

- New Hampshire legislators have defeated a bill (H.B. 1409) that would make it illegal for government agencies or private businesses in the state to issue cards, other than employee IDs, containing biometrics. The bill would prohibit the use of fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, handwriting, voice data, keystroke analysis, hand geometry, and iris and retinal scans. The bill would also make it illegal for state government or businesses to request biometric data from employees, patrons, or contractors. (For fuller coverage of the bill's defeat, read "Biometrics Defeated by New Hampshire Legislature.")

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Communications

- A bill (S. 1755) that would require the Department of Homeland Security to study the use of amateur radio operations during emergencies has been approved by the Senate and is now pending in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Cruise Ship Security

- A bill (H.R. 3360) that would enhance security aboard cruise ships has been approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate has announced that it will consider the measure.

Legal Report

- An employee is awarded $1.5 million in a retaliation suit, and parents sue their son's school after learning that officials spied on him via Webcam. Also, legislation on cruise ship safety, airport security, biometrics, and firearms. 

State Legislation: Georgia: Copper Theft

- A new Georgia law (formerly S.B. 82) regulates the secondary sale of metals such as copper and provides penalties for the theft of such metals. Under the new law, anyone purchasing the materials must obtain a photocopy of the seller’s driver’s license. If the metal being purchased is part of a motor vehicle, the seller must provide the title or a certificate from the state designating that the car can be sold as scrap. Under the new law, selling stolen metal valued at more than $500 is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
 




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