FTC Targets Manufacturers of Energy Efficient Replacement Windows

The Federal Trade Commission has warned 14 window manufacturers and a window glass manufacturer that they could possibly be making unsupported energy savings claims for replacement windows. The warnings were issued as a part of the FTC’s effort to ensure the honesty and solid scientific evidence behind environmental marketing.

The letters state that the FTC reviews the companies’ websites and found claims similar to those challenged in administrative complaints the FTC filed earlier this year against five companies. The companies that received the administrative complaints agreed to orders barring them from making exaggerated claims about the efficiency of their windows and the amount of money consumers could save on their energy and heating bills by having them installed. Continue reading FTC Targets Manufacturers of Energy Efficient Replacement Windows

Applebee’s employees win summary lawsuit in wage dispute

Applebee’s Restaurants in Illinois will be forced to pay servers who work for tips the rate paid to regular hourly employees when they’re asked to perform tasks outside of their jobs as bartenders, waiters, and waitresses.

According to a CourthouseNews.com report, AppleIllinois operates 34 franchise restaurants in the state and faced a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of employees of those restaurant locations who are paid an hourly wage but make most of their wages in tips. Under federal law, employees who accept tips for their work do not have to be paid the normal federal minimum wage. Continue reading Applebee’s employees win summary lawsuit in wage dispute

Consumer advocates want info sharing children’s sites stopped

Children’s consumer advocates have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate McDonalds and Nickelodeon channel for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) because each company asks children to divulge information about their friends through their Web sites.

Along with 16 other consumer groups, the Center for Digital Democracy made this request of the FTC this week, according to a Reuters report. They believe the fast-food restaurant McDonalds and cable channel Nickelodeon promote online campaigns that encourage children to share video clips, games, and other content to their friends without parental consent. The group called this “commercial exploitation of children.” Continue reading Consumer advocates want info sharing children’s sites stopped

DMAA supplements blamed for only 1 of 8 doping bans at London Olympics

The controversial stimulant DMAA (1, 3-dimethylamylamine) has been responsible for more doping violations among international athletes in the last few years than steroids or blood doping but only one Olympic doping ban was blamed on the additive.

Makers of dietary and workout supplements containing DMAA are on a short leash with the Food and Drug Administration, which has recently ordered nearly a dozen manufacturers of these supplements to cease marketing the products because it believes DMAA is responsible for at least two deaths and numerous reports of serious injuries among people who have taken them. Continue reading DMAA supplements blamed for only 1 of 8 doping bans at London Olympics

Fox Entertainment interns claim company failed to adhere to employment laws

A lawsuit filed by two interns at Fox Searchlight claims the entertainment company’s internship program violated federal wage laws has put a new spotlight on the entire company’s interns.

The two interns were working on the Academy Award-winning film “Black Swan” and after the movie received critical acclaim and won numerous Oscars, two interns claimed they were subjected to unpaid labor that didn’t fit the description, as written, of the film company’s internship program. Continue reading Fox Entertainment interns claim company failed to adhere to employment laws

California farmhand contractor accused in wage dispute

The California Labor Commission believes a farm labor contracting company failed to pay more 100 farmhands proper wages for the work they conducted in the state.

According to a report from Associated Press, the commission filed a lawsuit against Diaz Contracting, which employs workers for the California farming and agriculture industry. The lawsuit claims the company based in Visalia, Calif., failed to meet minimum wage standards in its pay to 129 employees. It also failed to overtime wages for hours worked beyond the 40-hour work week. Continue reading California farmhand contractor accused in wage dispute

FTC puzzled by persistent robo-calls

Robocalling has become an even bigger problem faced by consumers despite recent efforts to crack down on businesses who resort to this means of contacting potential customers.

According to an NBC News report, robo-calls from a fictitious woman named Rachel are inundating consumers at overwhelming rates. Rachel is from Cardholder Services, a company that purports to be able to lower a consumer’s credit card bills. Continue reading FTC puzzled by persistent robo-calls

Drug wholesaler agrees to settlement on over-billing charges

A leading prescription drug wholesaler has agreed to pay a fine equivalent to the amount it was accused of over-charging to state Medicaid programs by inflating the cost of its drugs.

According to an AP report, San Francisco-based McKesson Corp. will pay $151 million to 29 states (and the District of Columbia) as part of a settlement on charges it intentionally inflated drug prices and charged those rates to Medicaid. This puts an unnecessary strain on the healthcare assistance plan and inflates the cost of all services in some way. Continue reading Drug wholesaler agrees to settlement on over-billing charges

Google Looking at $22.5 Million to Settle Safari Privacy Charges

U.S. regulators will compel Google to pay a civil penalty of $22.5 million to settle charges that it sidestepped the privacy settings of customers using Apple’s Safari browser.

The Federal Trade Commission approved a consent decree that will permit Google to settle the agency’s investigation without admitting any liability. Continue reading Google Looking at $22.5 Million to Settle Safari Privacy Charges

Monsanto accused of violating fair wage laws on migrant workers

A group of Texas migrant workers have filed a lawsuit against agricultural giant Monsanto Company and others alleging they violated fair wage laws and other employment laws, including failing to honor promises of pay.

According to The Brownsville (Texas) Herald, Texas Rio Grande Legal aid have been retained to represent a group of migrant farm workers there who claim Monsanto and Milo Inc. did not pay them fair wages and never paid the money they promised based on their output. Continue reading Monsanto accused of violating fair wage laws on migrant workers