Screening News Weekly Wrap: November 13th, 2020

Screening News Weekly Wrap: November 13th, 2020

By Jennifer Gladstone

Florida’s minimum wage is about to rise, Zoom gets caught taking advantage of users, and restaurants are now on the front lines when it comes to contact tracing. We have all the details in today’s EBI Screening News Weekly Wrap.

Sunshine State Approves $15 Minimum Wage

When Florida voters went to the polls last week, they approved raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Employers shouldn’t panic, and workers shouldn’t be checking their paystubs for more money, just yet.

The constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 2, will slowly increase the minimum wage by small increments until it reaches $15 in September of 2026. The first increase will be tiny – just 9-cents an hour. That goes into effect on New Year’s Day. On September 1st, 2021 it will jump to $10 an hour and go up one dollar every year until it reaches the $15 mark. After that, any increases will be adjusted annually by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity based on changes to the Consumer Price Index.

Currently, Florida’s minimum wage of $8.56 is already significantly higher than the federal requirement of $7.25, but many cities and states have passed their own minimum wage which is much higher. Because of those laws, the effective nationwide minimum just shy of $12, which means Florida has a way to go to catch up. Still, many business owners, especially those in hospitality, are worried this will be devastating and cause them to lay people off.

The increase is still not quite a done deal. The amendment was passed without any of the fine print worked out. State legislators now need to pass laws on how the increase will work.

Did Zoom Mislead Users on Privacy Issues?

Logging onto Zoom meetings has become an almost daily occurrence for many of us, but have you ever stopped to think about who has access to your meetings? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it’s not just you and your coworkers!

The FTC alleged the company actually deceived users about the security of the platform. According to the complaint, Zoom collected information about users like names, email addresses, passwords, locations, date of birth, and more. The company also recorded and stored details about the event like participants, their answers to any polling questions asked during the meeting, instant messages, and files shared during the calls. The FTC also alleged the platform provided a lower level of encryption than promised and gave users a false sense of security. There are also concerns about the ZoomOpener app that bypasses Apple and Safari protections against malware.

Under the settlement, Zoom Video Communications, Inc. will have to implement a robust information security program. The company is also prohibited from misrepresenting its privacy and security practices, and the new security program will have to be evaluated every other year by an independent third party.

Restaurants on the Contact Tracing Front Lines

Restaurant owners in New Hampshire and Montgomery County, Maryland are about to be on the front lines when it comes to contact tracing. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu says the idea to collect their patrons’ names and phone numbers in his state actually came from the restaurant industry as they brainstormed ways to fight coronavirus.

The Governor’s Economic Reopening Task Force unanimously approved the measure after a string of cases closed local restaurants. In September, the CDC released a study that showed adults who test positive for COVID-19 were two times more likely to have eaten in a restaurant within the 14 days before they got sick. 

Health officials are thrilled with the plan because up until now, they have had to rely on press releases or the media to get the word out to people who may have visited an eatery with someone who later tests positive.

The new rule went into effect on October 31st. Restaurants will be required to keep the contact information for 21 days, and they are only allowed to use the information for COVID-19 notifications – not marketing.

In Maryland, the decision to trace came directly from Montgomery County. Leaders recently announced restaurant capacity will be dropped back to 25% of capacity in light of rapidly rising cases in the county. All restaurants will also be required to keep a record of all indoor and outdoor diners for at least 30 days.

Screening News Network

About the Author

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone

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.

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Happy Tuesday from Maryland.