Week Adjourned: 6.12.09

Postal Service or Indentured Service? The US Postal Service (USPS) is facing a class action lawsuit brought by employees who allege the government agency has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, by making them work more than 8 hours a day, and 40 hours per week without overtime compensation.

And, the plaintiffs claim that the USPS overburdened the carrier’s routes, among other things. Hmm…guess that recent 2¢ hike for a first class postage stamp wasn’t going to overtime pay…

Top Settlements

There were some big winners this week.

MS settles with MS. They may share initials but Microsoft wasn’t upfront when it came to sharing info about its competition as it promoted and sold Internet Explorer in its Windows operating system. So now Microsoft has to fork over $100 million to the state of Mississippi; $40 million is to be paid within 40 days to the state, and the other $60 million will be distributed as vouchers to consumers, businesses, and individuals, schools.

Ultimate Security System? It must’ve seemed that way: sign up and never—ever—be without anti-virus security protection. Even if you didn’t want it anymore! McAfee and Symantec, who have a considerable part of the antivirus software market between them, got their knuckles wrapped this week by the Attorney General for New York. Their automatic renewal practices were at the heart of the complaints the AG’s office received.

As part of the settlement, the two antivirus companies will pay the state of New York $750,000. Where that will end up is anybody’s guess, but the software companies have also agreed to notify customers before and after the renewal of the antivirus software subscription, in addition to offering a grace period of 60 days for refunds.

Head’s Up…

Important Asthma Information: for anyone who is prescribed the asthma medications montelukast (Singulair), zafirlukast (Accolate), and zileuton (Zyflo and Zyflo CR), a heads up—the FDA has requested labeling changes for these drugs. Reports of behavior and mood changes have prompted the FDA’s action. More information is available at the FDA’s website. Find out more about Singulair side effects. 

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