Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FDA Draft Guidelines on Calorie Labeling for Chain Restaurants and Vending Machines Released for Comment

The USA has gone to counting calories to deal with the national obesity problem.

The FDA has released draft Calorie Guidelines requiring calorie labeling of foods for chain restaurants and vending machine operators pursuant to healthcare legislation previously enacted.

Andrew Zajac, Tribune Washington Bureau, reports in the August 25, 2010 Los Angeles Times at FDA to require restaurant chains, vending machines post calories that:
"The calorie disclosure requirement applies only to restaurants and other food chains with 20 or more locations and vending machine operators with 20 or more machines."
There is a 45-day public comment period on the guidelines, after which the guidelines will be enforced.

I am at a loss to understand why the calorie guidelines do not apply to all restaurants and why they discriminate unreasonably against large restaurant chains.

The guy who has no McDonalds in his town and gets his burgers and fries at the small restaurant on the corner will thus arguably remain obese since he can't count his calories as easily -- i.e. the idea of the law is to cut obesity, regardless of whether one dines in chain restaurants or local eateries. Or am I missing something?

Private Texting by Employees on the Job: What are Your Rights? In City of Ontario v. Quon U.S. Supreme Court sets Reasonableness Standard

The dangers of private texting and use of social media for private purposes by employees at work are discussed at Lexology by Alia S. Wynne of Fisher & Phillips LLP in her article Texting on the job can be costly, which first appeared in the August 2, 2010 edition of the Houston Chronicle and which refers to a reasonableness standard followed recently by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in the case of City of Ontario v. Quon, No. 08-1332, 2010 WL 2400087 (US June 17, 2010).

As Aaron R. Gelb and Michael Goettig of Vedder Price PC note at Lexology in You’re not paranoid if someone really is watching you: monitoring employee use of social media, employees can expect their private text messages and social media use on the job to be reasonably examined by the employer if the employer has issued a clearly expressed policy about its right to view private text messages on the job or to monitor social media use at work:
"In City of Ontario v. Quon, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a public employer acted reasonably when it reviewed an employee’s private text messages sent and received on a device [an alphanumeric pager] issued by the employer. The City had issued a policy addressing employee use of work computers, e-mail and the Internet....

[T]he role of electronic communications in the workplace is evolving at a rapid pace, as is the body of law addressing those communications. Employers should update their policies and practices on a regular basis, in consultation with counsel, to ensure compliance with recent law."

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