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Business Liability w/new TSA Screening Procedures

Business Liability w/new TSA Screening Procedures

Old Nov 8, 10, 5:59 pm
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Business Liability w/new TSA Screening Procedures

I travel about 2 times per month and have had the enhanced patdowns twice in the past few weeks that involve innappropriate touching that would be perceived by most as sexual assualt. Outside the security area, what was done would be a jailable offense.

I work for a small company and manage a large program with numerous employees, some of whom have to travel for work. My concern is that since employees are on the clock while travelling and the patdowns could be a tramatic experience, our company may be liable or have to make accomodations to correct the hostile work environment. To me this is no different than having an employee working at a client site where harassment is going on. If we don't correct the situation, we can be sued.

This TSA change is new enough that HRs probably haven't had a chance to digest it, but if this TSA procedure becomes SOP I can see all kinds of problems down the line for our company and any other business that has employees travelling. I know personally if I have to go through that patdown most every time I get on an airplane, I'm seriously going to reconsider how and when I travel.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 6:14 pm
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Originally Posted by rzsionak View Post
I travel about 2 times per month and have had the enhanced patdowns twice in the past few weeks that involve innappropriate touching that would be perceived by most as sexual assualt. Outside the security area, what was done would be a jailable offense.

I work for a small company and manage a large program with numerous employees, some of whom have to travel for work. My concern is that since employees are on the clock while travelling and the patdowns could be a tramatic experience, our company may be liable or have to make accomodations to correct the hostile work environment. To me this is no different than having an employee working at a client site where harassment is going on. If we don't correct the situation, we can be sued.

This TSA change is new enough that HRs probably haven't had a chance to digest it, but if this TSA procedure becomes SOP I can see all kinds of problems down the line for our company and any other business that has employees travelling. I know personally if I have to go through that patdown most every time I get on an airplane, I'm seriously going to reconsider how and when I travel.
Hallelujah! Thank you!

You have hit on a "side effect" of the pat downs/scanners that others have hinted at but not discussed as succinctly as you.

I would think that all employers who require employees to travel should be extremely concerned about their liability in this situation.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 6:48 pm
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Very interesting point. I wonder if some "hostile workplace" complaints by groped frequent-business-travelers that named both TSA and large-company employers might get the companies to start lobbying against TSA.

Big companies are all about risk management and mitigation when it comes to harassment claims and they aren't going to want to leave themselves open to liability.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 7:13 pm
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Originally Posted by rzsionak View Post
I travel about 2 times per month and have had the enhanced patdowns twice in the past few weeks that involve innappropriate touching that would be perceived by most as sexual assualt. Outside the security area, what was done would be a jailable offense.

I work for a small company and manage a large program with numerous employees, some of whom have to travel for work. My concern is that since employees are on the clock while travelling and the patdowns could be a tramatic experience, our company may be liable or have to make accomodations to correct the hostile work environment. To me this is no different than having an employee working at a client site where harassment is going on. If we don't correct the situation, we can be sued.

This TSA change is new enough that HRs probably haven't had a chance to digest it, but if this TSA procedure becomes SOP I can see all kinds of problems down the line for our company and any other business that has employees travelling. I know personally if I have to go through that patdown most every time I get on an airplane, I'm seriously going to reconsider how and when I travel.
In your example, The airport is outside the scope of the control of the employer.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by eyecue View Post
The airport is outside the scope of the control of the employer.
But, the employee and those they are required to interact with are not.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by eyecue View Post
In your example, The airport is outside the scope of the control of the employer.
But, the employer is sending the employee somewhere knowing that there is a likelihood that they will be assaulted.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 7:30 pm
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Originally Posted by eyecue View Post
In your example, The airport is outside the scope of the control of the employer.
True, but the risk management is within the employer's control.

If you knowingly put an employee in harms way (physical or mental) without their consent, you can be held liable. Even with consent, there are still liability risks depending on risk management and identification of alternative solutions.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 7:41 pm
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Originally Posted by eyecue View Post
In your example, The airport is outside the scope of the control of the employer.
The employer requires the employee to travel which puts them in direct contact with TSA perverts (formerly called screeners).

Last edited by Boggie Dog; Nov 8, 10 at 8:47 pm
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Old Nov 8, 10, 7:56 pm
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^^^ to OP and replies to Eyecue's response.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 10:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
The employer requires the employee to travel which puts them in direct contact with TSA perverts (formerly called screeners).
obviously you dont agree with the TSA procedures but how does calling an employee thats just following what they've been directed to do, a pervert, acomplish anything??

i just dont understand on this website how so many take their feelings about the TSA out on those that have no control over the policies and procedures that are put into place.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 10:20 pm
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Originally Posted by TiredOfTooMuchTravel View Post
obviously you dont agree with the TSA procedures but how does calling an employee thats just following what they've been directed to do, a pervert, acomplish anything??

i just dont understand on this website how so many take their feelings about the TSA out on those that have no control over the policies and procedures that are put into place.

Personally I agree with many other posters and calling it like i see it.

Last edited by essxjay; Nov 9, 10 at 7:54 pm Reason: Going Godwin
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Old Nov 9, 10, 3:32 am
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Originally Posted by rzsionak View Post

This TSA change is new enough that HRs probably haven't had a chance to digest it, but if this TSA procedure becomes SOP I can see all kinds of problems down the line for our company and any other business that has employees travelling. I know personally if I have to go through that patdown most every time I get on an airplane, I'm seriously going to reconsider how and when I travel.
Already being discussed on another thread.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/15098773-post70.html

If women are significantly more affected than men (it has been reported that wearing a skirt is grounds for 'enhance patdown' and that women have been told that they will face long waits for female staff) then 'disparate impact' also becomes an issue.

Long term, I think it would be very sad if enough young women and teens have (or their friends have) such bad experiences that flying just becomes something to be endured when absolutely necessary -- and this influences their choice of college and profession. Stanford...yeah, but I'd have to fly like four times a year, yuck... Field hydrological engineer, omg none of my friends wants to do that...travel, ick
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Old Nov 9, 10, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by eyecue View Post
In your example, The airport is outside the scope of the control of the employer.
Are you admitted to the bar?

If not, then you really should stop dispensing legal advice.

Bad enough that folks of your ilk think you know what's best in the medical realm, now you think you're lawyers, too.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 7:44 am
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When the strip search machines were being tested last year, I discussed this with a good friend who is a Human Resources consultant for many large corporations and is often an expert witness in HR matters. I asked her whether in her professional opinion the strip search machines and patdowns could constitute a hostile work environment situation for those who are required to travel on business as part of their jobs.

She agreed that this absolutely would fall under those definitions if employees protested being subjected to these measures which were not an original term of their employment.

I've brought this up in a few threads since then including these:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...l#post15035883,
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...l#post14351735,
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...l#post13093023

with the thought that if enough major corporations (or unions....) were suddenly faced with these types of claims from their traveling workforce, it would provide impetus for these employers to lobby Congress.

The first time I broached the idea here last year (when WBIs were "only" in test in handful of airports), others scoffed at the idea of anyone going to their HR Department during a recession with this type of claim. The rapid deployment of these machines coupled with the enhanced patdowns, however, makes this a much more visible and viable opportunity to put a stop to this bizarre new government program requiring us to be strip searched or allow a government employee to run their hands over our bodies simply to do our jobs. Glad the OP started a separate thread to get some dialogue (and hopefully some action) going!


P.S. Not sure why there is an unhappy emoticon - that was not intentional! MODS, please remove the emoticon from the subject line - thanks.

Last edited by scoow; Nov 10, 10 at 10:10 am Reason: remove post icon
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Old Nov 9, 10, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by pbjag View Post
When the strip search machines were being tested last year, I discussed this with a good friend who is a Human Resources consultant for many large corporations and is often an expert witness in HR matters. I asked her whether in her professional opinion the strip search machines and patdowns could constitute a hostile work environment situation for those who are required to travel on business as part of their jobs.

She agreed that this would absolutely would fall under those definitions if employees protested being subjected to these measures which were not an original term of their employment.

I've brought this up in a few threads since then including this most recent post http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...l#post15035883, with the thought that if enough major corporations (or unions....) were suddenly faced with these types of claims from their traveling workforce, it would provide impetus for these employers to lobby Congress.

The first time I broached the idea here last year (when WBIs were "only" in test in handful of airports), others scoffed at the idea of anyone bringing going to their HR Deparment during a recession with this type of claim. The rapid deployment of these machines coupled with the enhanced patdowns, however, makes this a much more visible and viable opportunity to put a stop to this bizarre new government program requiring us to be strip searched or allow a government employee to run their hands over our bodies simply to do our jobs.


P.S. Not sure why there is an unhappy emoticon - that was not intentional!
I, too, mentioned this same thing a couple of years ago and was scoffed at.
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