in brief

This month’s news in brief

Lawsuits piling up for supermarket giant

Global retail giant Wal-Mart is facing lawsuits in 28 US states for
allegedly forcing staff to work unpaid overtime. The Times reported that staff
were locked inside stores until work was completed and hours were deleted form
timesheets to keep them under 40 hours per week. Wal-Mart owns the
UKsupermarket Asda.

Transexual wins discrimination case

A transexual dismissed by Isle of Wight firm Structural Polymer Systems
after complaining of discrimination and harassment is to receive £22,000 in
compensation. The claimant said she was treated in an abusive manner by her
team leader, was subjected to comments about her transexuality, and was
dismissed after raising her concerns with the md and head of HR.

Staff security breaches on rise as IT use soars

The number of employee-related IT security incidents is growing as staff get
e-mail and internet access, while some companies face computer fraud and
sabotage by disgruntled workers, says a report backed by the Department of
Trade and Industry. The PricewaterhouseCoopers Information Security Breaches
Survey 2002 says the number of companies suffering a security breach as a
result of premeditated or malicious intent rose from 24 per cent in 2000 to 44
per cent by the beginning of this year.

EU set to legislate on corporate responsibility

HR professionals could be forced to report on how their organisations impact
on society and the environment if new proposals from the European Commission
become law.

Fast-track scheme helps immigrants fill skills gap

More than 300 immigrants have been given approval to work in the UK in the
past five months under a new fast-track work permit system for highly-skilled
people. Of 953 applicants up to 13 June, 338 were successful, including
doctors, scientists and computer specialists. Immigration minister Beverley
Hughes said they "contribute a great deal to our society" and
insisted the Government was keen to attract people who could help the economy
grow.

Haulage firms fight working time limits

Employers in the road haulage industry are urging the Government to fight
the EU on its proposed Working Time Directive for Mobile Workers, which will
limit lorry drivers to a 48-hour week by 2005.

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