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State Legislation: New York: Crime

- A New York bill (A.B. 2952) would prohibit police or peace officers from using excessive force either defensively or in making an arrest or preventing an escape. The bill would also make it a misdemeanor for a police officer to intend to kill rather than stop a person. The introduction of the bill was prompted by the case of Sean Bell, a 23-year-old man who was shot and killed by police on his wedding day after hitting an unmarked police car with his van.

Legal Report

- A prosecutor dismisses a felony charge against a security guard, and an employee may not sue her company for failure to investigate her discrimination claim.

Massachusetts: New Law Limits When Employers Can Ask Job Applicants About Convictions

- Come November 4, Massachusetts will no longer allow employers to ask applicants to check the box that asks whether they have a criminal record when filling out a job application.

State Legislation: Alabama: Employment

- A new Alabama law (formerly H.B. 37) will allow the state superintendent of education to revoke the teaching certificate of any teacher convicted of felony sex offenses or sexual abuse of a child. Under the law, if such a conviction is overturned, the certificate will be reinstated and the local board of education may choose to return the teacher to his or her previous position. Even if the teacher is not rehired, he or she will receive back pay and benefits.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Crime

- A bill (S. 1684) that would require that local law enforcement collect information on convicted arsonists and bombers similar to that currently collected on sex offenders has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

ESPN Reporter Pushes Tough Antistalking Bill

- Victimized ESPN reporter Erin Andrews this week urged Congress to pass antistalking legislation that would toughen sentencing and allow law enforcement to pursue stalking undertaken via cell phone or the Internet.

New Financial Law Contains Whistleblower Protections and Incentives

- The financial reform bill signed last week by President Obama not only strengthens whistleblower protections but provides a financial incentive to blow the whistle against fraud on Wall Street.

Legal Report: U.S. Supreme Court Edition

- An update on this term's relevant cases from the U.S. Supreme Court, including those on privacy, fraud, terrorism, gun control, and the constitutionality of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Port Security

- The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing yesterday to discuss current port security initiatives and explore whether the SAFE Port Act of 2006 should be reauthorized in its previous form or should be altered to address additional security issues.

State Legislation: Utah: Hiring

- A new Utah law (formerly H.B. 206) would restrict how employers could request personal information from prospective employees. Under the law, employers may not request an applicant’s Social Security number, date of birth, or driver’s license number until after the applicant has been offered a job. The information may also be requested after the applicant has agreed to a criminal background check, credit check, or driving record check.

State Legislation: Illinois: Credit Checks

- A bill (H.B. 4658) pending in the Illinois legislature would prohibit companies from conducting credit checks on prospective employees. Under the bill, it would be illegal for companies to use credit checks to make decisions on hiring, recruiting, discharge, or compensation. Exceptions would be made for financial institutions, public safety agencies, or any other government agencies that require credit checks as a matter of law.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: First Responders

- A bill (H.R. 4992) introduced by Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) is designed to protect individual first responders from litigation costs arising from unintended consequences. Under the bill, the employers of first responders would be required to pay for any liability, including litigation costs related to claims of liability, that first responders incur in the course of their official duties. Exceptions would be made in the case of intentional wrongdoing or activities undertaken in bad faith.

Legal Report

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




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