The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has upheld a civil penalty issued against a Texas warehouse employer for using a signal jammer to prevent employees from using their mobile phones at work.
The $22,000 fine against Ravi’s Import Warehouse in Dallas, TX was originally levied in April 2018, following a 2017 visit to the company’s facility by an FCC field agent, who was responding to complaints of interference in the vicinity of the warehouse. During that visit, the owner of the business reportedly acknowledged the use of the jammer on the company’s premises but said that it had been disposed of before the FCC’s visit. The owner declined to voluntarily retrieve the disposed device but then offered to sell the jammer to the FCC agent.
The $22,000 fine proposed against Ravi’s in July 2017 was contested and appealed by the company several times over the ensuing years but was ultimately affirmed by the Commission in late January 2022.
Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934 prohibits the operation of “any apparatus for the transition of energy or communications or signals by radio…unless such use is licensed or authorized.” Further, Section 333 of the Act states that “no person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications…licensed or authorized.”