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Employers (and some Employees) Thankful as Federal Court Stays New Overtime Laws

For the past few months, business owners have been frantically preparing for a major change in the Department of Labor (DOL) regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which would greatly increase the number of employees eligible to receive overtime pay for work in excess of 40 hour per week.   These changes, were due … Continue Reading

Update: New EAS Foreign-Language Reporting Requirement Now In Effect

But EAS Participants have a year to advise their SECCs of what, if anything, they’re doing to provide EAS alerts to non-English speaking audiences. As we reported last spring, the FCC declined to require that non-English language announcements be provided by Emergency Alert System participants. But the Commission did decide that all State EAS Plans … Continue Reading

Repack Update: FCC Invites Comments on Widelity II

Input sought on revised catalog of likely repack expenses As we all know, TV stations forced by the Incentive Auction/spectrum repack process to modify their facilities will be entitled to reimbursement of their reasonable repacking-related costs. And as we reported a couple of years ago, to give everybody – FCC and affected broadcasters (and MVPDs) … Continue Reading

DIRS Activated as Hurricane Matthew Approaches Southeast States

As we had anticipated, the Commission has officially activated its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in connection with the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Because of the urgency of the situation, the FCC has asked the NAB to get the word out to broadcast stations, and we here in the CommLawBlog bunker are more than happy … Continue Reading

As Matthew Makes Its Move, FCC Provides Emergency Response Information

With Matthew, the first big hurricane to threaten Florida and the Carolinas in several years, barreling up the coast, the FCC has started its anticipatory disaster response. A public notice released this afternoon alerts the public that Commission personnel will be available, 24/7, to assist communications providers as they deal with the effects of the storm. … Continue Reading

Six-Figure Fine for Failing to Focus on Former Felonies

Many FCC forms completed on a “routine” basis may need extra attention. Anyone who fills in pretty much any FCC form should be familiar with the certifications required by those forms. Anyone who “signs” an FCC form (whether electronically or otherwise) must be familiar with them; more importantly, the signatory must be sure that the … Continue Reading

2016 Reg Fees Set, But Payment Deadline Yet to be Announced

On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, the Commission released the final listing of regulatory fees for 2016. Those fees will have to be paid sometime before September 30, but as of September 4, the Commission had neither announced the deadline nor opened up its Fee Filer system for acceptance of reg fees. Maybe the … Continue Reading

Put It In Writing, Part III: Closed Captioning Chores Reassigned

Modified programmer compliance certifications, complaint procedures, to take effect September 22, 2016 For nearly two decades the FCC has been working to insure that television programming is appropriately accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing through closed captioning technology. In 2014 it finally got around to developing quality control standards which it applied not … Continue Reading

Tabula (Quasi) Rasa: The 2016 EAS Operating Handbook!

Latest edition of FCC Handbook features blank spaces galore to be filled in by EAS participants themselves. Two days after we posted a reminder about the upcoming deadline for EAS participants to (a) register on the Commission’s new EAS Test Reporting System and (b) submit their Form Ones (or should that be “Forms One”?) through … Continue Reading

Update: Effective Date of Revised Application Fees Announced

A couple of weeks ago we reported on the FCC’s adoption of a new schedule of application fees. Since the new schedule ups fees across-the-board, anybody who was planning to file a fee-able application in the near term might want to file sooner rather than later, to take advantage of the outgoing fees before they, … Continue Reading

Update: Comment Deadlines Announced in Alien Ownership Inquiry

Last month we reported on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) through which the FCC is seeking comment on the way it processes proposals involving reportable levels of foreign ownership. The NPRM has now wended its way into the Federal Register, which means that the deadlines for comments and replies have been set. Get out … Continue Reading

Wheeler Takes Retrans Re-Tooling Off the Table

Chairman blogs that FCC will not be modifying “totality of the circumstances” test on his watch. In the long-running retransmission consent war pitting broadcasters against MVPDs, a major threat to the status quo has been averted: according to a blog posted on the FCC’s website by Chairman Tom Wheeler, the Commission has opted not to … Continue Reading

EWW, SSA, SSW: New EAS Event Codes Added

While supporting the decision, Commissioner O’Rielly criticizes FCC’s “cost/benefit” analysis In what four out of five FCC Commissioners seem to view as a no-brainer, the Emergency Alert System just got three more event codes and two slightly-revised geographic location codes. The odd man out? Commissioner O’Rielly. He doesn’t question the potential utility of the new/revised … Continue Reading

Pursestrings 2016: New Application Fee Schedule Announced

Normally non-controversial biennial action spiced up this year by partial dissent from Commissioner O’Rielly Thanks to Congress, the FCC has got to charge application fees and, also thanks to Congress, those fees have got to be adjusted every two years in light of changes in the Consumer Price Index. The last time the Commission tweaked … Continue Reading

Convention-al Wisdom: Auxiliary Frequency Coordination Provisions for Political Confabs Announced

FCC takes steps in anticipation of extensive auxiliary operation at upcoming conventions, inauguration It looks like Louis Libin won’t be getting much time off this month, or next January either, for that matter. That’s because he has been designated as the single point of contact for frequency coordination operations under Section 74.24 at (deep breath, … Continue Reading

FCC Forfeiture Limits Increased Across the Board

Keeping up with the cost-of-living … If you happened to feel a vague, somewhat disturbing, shudder recently, don’t worry: it was just the upper limit of potential FCC fines being raised across the board. By Order effective July 1, 2016 (or maybe August 1 – we’ll get to that), the Commission followed up on a … Continue Reading
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