A drunk driving provision tucked into the huge federal infrastructure bill, large employers getting tougher about vaccines, and Zoom making nice after getting caught abusing the platform. We have all the details in today’s EBI Screening News Update.
Every 52 minutes someone in the U.S. dies in a drunk-driving crash. Now, lawmakers are trying to prevent this in an unexpected way.
On page 1,067 of the massive new infrastructure bill that was passed by the Senate earlier this week, there is a provision that would require all new cars to include “advanced drunk and impaired driving technology.” According to the language in the bill, the system must be able to “passively and accurately” detect whether a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is .08% or above and at that point prevent the vehicle from operating.
The type of possible monitors that would be acceptable are not spelled out, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has recommended things like touch-based systems that can read BAC through your fingertips, or systems that can sample the air exhaled by the driver.
If this seems like an odd thing to have in infrastructure legislation, some say it might be because many Senators had less than two weeks to read through the 2,700 pages of the bill.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives. If it passes with this provision intact, car companies will have three years to comply.
As the nation continues to warily watch the COVID-19 Delta variant, more and more employers are deciding to mandate vaccines for their teams.
Here are some of the latest developments.
Walt Disney World is now requiring all salaried and non-union hourly employees to get vaccinated, but union members are another story. Disney is in discussions with six unions representing a large number of cast members to try to reach a deal that will require union members to get the shots, too.
Several other large U.S. corporations now have some sort of mandate in place.
Walmart is requiring company leaders and those who visit multiple facilities to be vaccinated. The shots are not mandated yet for the front-line workers, but they are being offered $150 in incentives if they do get them.
Anyone who steps foot on any Google campus must be fully vaccinated. The company is also extending its voluntary work-from-home policy through mid-October.
Employees of United Airlines have until late October to get vaccinated. United is the first major airline to make such a mandate. Right after United made its announcement, Frontier Airlines did the same. Employees have to show proof that they are fully vaccinated by October 1st or submit to regular testing.
Last, but not least, the Pentagon will require all members of the military to be vaccinated by September 15th. That date could be moved up if the FDA gives the vaccine final approval before then.
In November, at the height of our work-from-home time, we told you about security lapses with the Zoom platform. At the time, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged Zoom not only collected personal information about its users without their knowledge, but also recorded meetings, instant messages, and files shared during calls. The company was also accused of sharing information with Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, and didn’t provide security to prevent pornographic hackers from interrupting meetings.
Zoom has now agreed to pay $85 million to settle a lawsuit based on these violations of users’ privacy rights. If the judge signs off on the agreement, subscribers will receive 15% refunds on their paid services or $25 – whichever is larger. Those who use the platform for free can also submit a claim for $15.
In the meantime, Zoom is also being required to improve its security to safeguard user data.
Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.