Supreme Court: Amazon Warehouse Workers Shouldn’t Be Paid For Security Screening Time

Supreme Court: Amazon Warehouse Workers Shouldn’t Be Paid For Security Screening Time

Two months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk et al., concerning the question of whether employees at a warehouse–an Amazon distribution center, in this case–should be paid for the time that they spend waiting for security checks when they leave work. The Supremes issued a unanimous decision earlier than expected, and they say that security checks should not be considered part of the job at a distribution center. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Cucumbers Were Probably Culprits In E. Coli Outbreak At Jimmy John’s

Escherichia coli is a bacterium that’s part of the normal intestinal flora of warm-blooded organisms, including humans. It’s pretty harmless most of the time, but when “fecal contamination” between different organisms occurs, it can result in a very serious illness. It took more than a year, but authorities in Colorado have traced a September 2013 E. coli outbreak to one specific food: cucumbers from Jimmy John’s sandwich shops in three towns in Colorado. [More]

Walmart Cashier Bails Out Customer Who Can’t Afford Groceries

Walmart Cashier Bails Out Customer Who Can’t Afford Groceries

We’re going to guess that Walmart cashiers see plenty of customers in the course of a day who can’t afford all of the items that they’ve selected and must put something back. Yet something made a cashier in upstate New York stop and reach into her pocket when an older man at her register couldn’t afford to buy all of his food, contributing forty dollars of her own. [More]

New Frontiers In ATM Skimmer Technology: Wiretapping

New Frontiers In ATM Skimmer Technology: Wiretapping

We have a morbid fascination with ATM skimmers here at Consumerist, as anyone with a bank account probably should. The technology has made a lot of progress, from molded overlays for card slots and PIN pads to invisible Bluetooth devices that beam payment information to the bad guys until their batteries die. Now there’s a new type of skimmer spotted on real ATMs, but impossible for customers to detect: wiretaps. [More]

Fake beard, not overweight. Do not hire. (Cakefarm)

Mall Santa Recruitment: Only Real White Beards Need Apply

Where do the finest mall Santas come from? It’s not just anyone who is able to terrify children who the finest malls want to hire to rule over the North Pole and its lucrative photo business. There’s a special company that recruits and employs hundreds of Santas nationwide. While Santas vary, for some malls only the very best St. Nicks are suitable. [More]

December Food And Supplement Recall Roundup – Diet Drugs Are Not Bee Pollen

December Food And Supplement Recall Roundup – Diet Drugs Are Not Bee Pollen

In our December recall roundup, bodybuilding supplements contain steroids, caramel-filled chocolate bites have peanut butter in them, and fungus-contaminated probiotic powder had a horrible, tragic result. Also, maybe people should reconsider this whole thing where we buy commercial bean sprouts. [More]

It's all holdiay fun until someone takes a drone in the face.

First TGI Friday’s Mistletoe Drone Casualty Reported In Brooklyn

The mistletoe drones deployed in TGI Friday’s restaurants are supposed to be flying ambassadors of happiness and love, not weapons of destruction. Yet that’s exactly what happened to a photographer who visited a restaurant with a reporter last week to capture the restaurant’s two drones in action. A smaller, 10-inch drone was supposed to land in the reporter’s hand, but instead flew into the photographer’s face, cutting her nose and chin. [More]

(Hillary)

Do You Have Cold Symptoms? Don’t Reach For Zinc

I have been known to reach for vitamin C pills and lozenges at my very first sniffle, but it turns out that this is not good health advice. Our seasonally savvy colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports tell us that while it feels good to do something when you feel a viral illness coming on, a fistful of zinc lozenges isn’t the best idea. [More]

(Martin Rottler)

Man Upset About Sandwich Throws Snake Behind Tim Hortons Counter

Breakfast sandwiches are serious business. Two men are in police custody in Saskatchewan, Canada after one of them threw a snake behind the counter at a Tim Hortons coffee shop. Why throw a snake? It’s not quite clear why someone would weaponize serpents, but the fast-food dispute involved the question of whether Tim Hortons should dice its onions on sandwiches. [More]

New Sugary Cereals We Would Like To Eat Right Now

New Sugary Cereals We Would Like To Eat Right Now

Breakfast cereals are the perfect food category for humanity: just about everyone has at least one that they like. They’re great at any time of day, as dessert, or even as a snack. Recently, news broke about two cereals that are hitting shelves: one is new, and the other is not so new. Both sound magical. [More]

FDA: Idaho Knew About Chobani Mold Issue Before Yogurts Started Exploding

FDA: Idaho Knew About Chobani Mold Issue Before Yogurts Started Exploding

Last year, fungal contamination in yogurt made in Chobani’s new plant in Idaho led to problems with their products distributed nationwide. These problems ranged from “this yogurt tastes funny” to in-fridge explosions to dozens of illnesses that consumers attributed to the yogurt. Now, the Idaho plant’s local newspaper has learned that the state government may have known about the mold contamination long before any yogurts were pulled from stores. [More]

Mechanical Giraffe Escapes From Hell, Sold At Discount Toy Store

Mechanical Giraffe Escapes From Hell, Sold At Discount Toy Store

The box for this toy giraffe says that it “Walks Along, Moves Head, And Shriek.” Verb tenses aside, that description is alarmingly accurate. The toy does all of those things, including shrieking like a demonically possessed creature as it walks along. While that makes the box accurate, it’s not clear to us who the intended audience for this toy would be. [More]

(m01229)

Who Invented Roadside Arm-Waving Air Dancers?

Where did the inflatable dancing man come from? You know what we mean: the tall fabric puppets that you attach to a fan and let loose to dance in the air, capturing the attention of people passing by. Where did the air dancer come from? They’ve been around for less than 18 years, and have an origin story involving three countries and the Olympic Games. [More]

RadioShack Will Stop Matching Workers’ Retirement Contributions Next Year

RadioShack Will Stop Matching Workers’ Retirement Contributions Next Year

RadioShack, the electronics retailer that once called itself “America’s Technology Store” and now wants to repair your cracked iPhone screen, is willing to try just about anything to stay in business. While they negotiate with lenders for permission to close more stores, the chain announced that it will end matching contributions to employees’ retirement plans as of February 1, 2015. [More]

Why Are 100,000 People On A Waiting List To Buy Duck Boots From L.L. Bean?

Why Are 100,000 People On A Waiting List To Buy Duck Boots From L.L. Bean?

Do you need a warm and waterproof pair of boots so you can tromp through serious snow, slush, and ice this winter? If so, you really should have planned ahead. L.L. Bean reports that their duck boots (which are not made out of actual ducks) for men and women alike are pre-ordered so far in advance that for some sizes, you’ll be waiting around until mid-March to get your boots. [More]

Starbucks Wants To Open A Chain Of Even More Upscale Coffee Shops

Starbucks Wants To Open A Chain Of Even More Upscale Coffee Shops

You may have thought that Starbucks was already an upscale coffee chain. Perhaps it is, compared to brewing your own Folgers at home, but there are even pricier coffee shops out there that offer even finer coffees. Starbucks wants to compete with these shops, which you haven’t heard of because you can’t afford to visit: even if you can, you probably don’t want to pay $45 for a pound of roasted beans. [More]

(Scott Miller)

Sears Holdings Admits Plans To Close 105 More Stores, Won’t Say Which Ones

Last week, we shared an updated version of a list naming 109 Kmart and Sears stores reported by employees or local media outlets to be closing by early 2015. While Sears still won’t confirm or deny these reports on a company-wide level, the company did tell investors as part of its quarterly earnings report this week that it plans to close 105 more stores by the beginning of next year. [More]

(Paula S)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are eleven of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last two weeks, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]