Administrative Agency Communications & Media

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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Harsh Words for KIND Bars

Kind, LLC received a rude awakening from the FDA when it notified the popular snack-maker that it was violating numerous federal regulations by allegedly misbranding four popular products. Kind is known for its widely-popular...more

Weigand v. N.L.R.B: A Double Standard for Social Media?

On April 17, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) decision finding a local branch of the Amalgamated Transit Union (“Union”) could...more

AT&T and SNET to Pay $10.9 Million for Overbilling Lifeline Program

AT&T and SNET  (while affiliated with AT&T), have agreed to pay a collective $10.9 million in order to settle an FCC enforcement proceeding involving the failure to timely de-enroll “a number of” subscribers who were no...more

To Fire or Not to Fire for Employee’s Social Media Posts

After watching the firing of the digital communications manager for the Houston Rockets during their run through the playoffs (read the story here in the Houston Chronicle).  I figured it would be a good time to revisit the...more

Tomorrow is Another One-A-Day: FDA Guidelines Preempt Vitamin Claims, but Consumer Class Still Has Opportunity to Supplement

Although consumer class actions in California are dime-a-dozen, a recent Northern District of California case involving One A Day vitamins stands out because it demonstrates how federal regulations can preempt certain state...more

Recent Ninth Circuit Decisions in False Advertising Consumer Class Action Cases May Prevent Preemption and Relegate the Primary...

In two recent decisions, Reid v. Johnson & Johnson, __ F.3d __, Case No. 12-56726 (9th Cir. March 13, 2015) and Astiana v. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., __ F.3d __, Case No. 12-17596 (9th Cir. April 10, 2015), the Ninth...more

Department of Labor Says "Transparent Government" Begins With...Transparent Data about Businesses?

We’ve reached almost the end of April, and the long delayed, new FLSA regulations are still percolating somewhere in deep inside the DOL. So what has the agency been up to instead? Last month, as part of the annual “Sunshine...more

FAA approves Amazon’s second request to test its delivery drones in the skies

While Amazon.com Inc. (Amazon) did receive approval to fly its test drones from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) back in March of this year for its July 2014 request, that approval proved to be useless after Amazon...more

Australian Federal Court Finds Rotten Conduct In Coles' 'Freshly Baked' Claims To The Tune Of $2.5 Million

The Federal Court has ordered Coles Supermarkets to pay a $2.5 million AUD penalty for making false and misleading claims regarding its bakery range in contravention of section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL)....more

FTC Finalizes First Privacy Settlement Against a Retail Tracking Firm

In a first-of-its-kind enforcement action, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday voted along party lines to settle deception allegations against Nomi Technologies (Nomi), a company whose technology allows retailers...more

Junk Fax Act Compliance: One Week Left to Request a Waiver for Non-Compliance

Thursday, April 30, 2015, marks the last day a business can request a retroactive waiver for failing to comply with certain fax advertising requirements promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The scope of...more

FCC Denies E-Rate Appeal in Scorching Order

On April 15, after a multi-year investigation arising from events in 2004-2008, the Chief of the Telecommunications Access Policy Division (TAPD) of the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order denying appeals by an...more

Online Advertisers Take Notice – Recent Canadian Decisions

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) has released two important decisions this year on online behavioural advertising (OBA or interest-based advertising) so far this year. On March 25, 2015, the OPC released its...more

The FDA Gets an EARful on Label Changes

We’ve blogged several times about the FDA’s pending proposal to gut preemption with respect to generic drugs, and that proposal’s numerous flaws. We have been remiss, however, in not mentioning the industry’s 2014...more

USDA National Organic Program Instruction on Use of Brand or Company Names Containing the Word Organic

On August 14, 2014, the National Organic Program (NOP) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its “instruction” to the accredited certifying agents (Certifiers) that certify operations to the USDA...more

NLRB determines vulgar Facebook posts protected concerted activity

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that Pier Sixty LLC, a New York catering service, violated federal labor law by firing an employee server after he posted a Facebook message protesting supervisory abuse...more

Food Recalls Increase in First Quarter of 2015

Food producers are reporting a sharp rise in food recalls so far this year. During the first quarter of 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published notices of 118 food recalls (excluding pet foods), and the...more

PAC Upholds School District’s Decision to Deny FOIA Request for Text Messages

Last month, the Public Access Counselor released a decision on the subject of when text messages can be obtained from a public body through a FOIA request. The decision was non-binding, but nonetheless illustrates that absent...more

Texas eMediaLaw Legislative Update: 2015

It’s Spring in Texas which means one of two things – the bluebonnets are out and in odd years, our legislature is back at work. One makes me grateful to be in Texas and the other only meets every other year. Here are a few...more

Supreme Court Holds that TTAB Decisions May Have Preclusive Effect, Raising Stakes for Trademark Agency Proceedings

On March 24, the US Supreme Court issued a decision that is likely to raise the stakes of proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). In B&B Hardware, Inc.v. Hargis Industries, Inc., No. 13-352 (March 24,...more

OSHA Announces Request for Information on Communication Tower Safety

On April 15, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) on Communication Tower Safety. The agency requests that the communication tower industry...more

IRS Ordered to Make Non-Profit Form 990s Available In a Useful Electronic Format

Federal agencies cannot avoid their obligation to disclose public records in modern electronic formats merely by invoking budgetary constraints, a judge has ruled in a rare decision exploring the scope of the Electronic...more

Can You Lawfully Prohibit Secret Recordings in the Workplace?

It is a safe bet that most if not all of your employees own a mobile or smart phone. It is also a safe bet that those phones have the capability of capturing pictures, taking video and recording conversations. ...more

CFPB Files Suit and Obtains Injunction Against Participants of Alleged Illegal Debt Collection Scheme

On April 8, the CFPB announced that it filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on March 26 against participants in an allegedly illegal debt collection operation, involving...more

USAC Releases 2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines for the Lifeline Program

The Department of Health and Human Services released an update to the federal poverty guidelines (“FPG”) for 2015 for the 48 states and DC, Alaska, and Hawaii. In order to qualify for the Lifeline program, an applicant must...more

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