Retail Trend Spotter

California’s Legislature has been busy, proposing a number of bills that may affect California food retailers and manufacturers, should they be signed into law. Some could become effective as early as July 2024. Below are the highlights of some of these bills.
Continue Reading New Bills Being Served Up That May Soon Impact Food Retailers and Manufacturers

Retailers may be getting overwhelmed by the number of states that have enacted “comprehensive” privacy laws, and with good reason. At this point, there are privacy laws in 12 states, with one more (Delaware) likely to be signed by the governor soon. Those laws are in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. (There is also a new law in Delaware currently pending the governor’s signature). We’ll be hosting a webinar on August 1 which you can sign up for here.
Continue Reading State Privacy Law Roundup: What Retailers Need to Know

The Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) Endorsement Guides have evolved over the past forty years from regulating celebrity endorsements and testimonial advertisements to policing social media advertising, including influencer endorsements and native advertising. On February 12, 2020, the FTC announced that it had voted 5‑0 to approve a proposed Federal Register Notice, seeking comment on whether to make changes to its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (“the Endorsement Guides”), which were enacted in 1980[1] and amended in 2009,[2] as part of a systematic review of all current FTC rules and practices. The Endorsement Guides have steadfastly required
Continue Reading FTC Finalizes Revisions to the Endorsement Guides, Proposes New Rule for Consumer Reviews and Testimonials and Updates FTC Staff Guidance

Two plaintiffs learned the hard way that not all environmental marketing claims are treated the same. A federal judge in Missouri recently dismissed a proposed class action by the shoppers against H&M over the company’s marketing of its “Conscious Choice” fashion line.
Continue Reading Lizama et al. v. H&M: A Lesson in Artful Crafting of Green Claims

Candy and sports drink aisles in California grocery stores could look very different if AB418 is passed into law. The California Assembly has proposed amending the state’s Health and Safety Code to prevent the manufacture, sale, delivery, distribution, holding, or offering for sale any food that contains any of the following substances:
Continue Reading New California Bill Seeks to Eliminate Certain Food Additives

Retailers continue to be targeted by website accessibility lawsuits. Unfortunately, the legal landscape remains unpredictable and it varies greatly based on what jurisdiction a retailer is sued in. There remains no easy fix to prevent litigation. Plaintiff’s lawyers argue that “inaccessible” websites or mobile apps fail to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act or similar state civil rights laws. However, there are no set of detailed website accessibility standards or regulations and instead, the Department of Justice’s position has been that the Americans with Disabilities Act’s general nondiscrimination and effective communication provisions apply to web accessibility. The Department has directed that businesses
Continue Reading Website Accessibility Litigation Continues to be Costly and There is No Easy Fix

Effective January 1, 2025, a new California law will prohibit 24 ingredients from use in cosmetic products. California’s Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act [Assembly Bill (“AB”) 2762] was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 30, 2020, amidst continued public health concerns about chemicals in consumer products. The law makes California the first state to effectuate a state-wide ban of these ingredients, all of which are already banned by the European Union.
Continue Reading California’s Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act Bans 24 Ingredients From Cosmetic Products

In 2021 and 2022, we saw a wave of pay transparency laws aimed at improving pay equity. It first started with Colorado in 2021, then New York City in late 2022. Recently, states such as California, New York, Washington, and Rhode Island have passed similar pay transparency laws. These laws often differ by locality and state, creating many compliance questions for employers.
Continue Reading The Push for Pay Transparency: New Laws in 2023

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) unveiled a proposed ruling that would essentially ban noncompete agreements across the country. This proposed ruling is based on a finding that noncompete agreements constitute an unfair method of competition and violate Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
Continue Reading Non-Compete No More? FTC Proposes Broad Ban of Non-Compete Agreements

A new set of California laws will require online marketplaces to gather verifiable identifying information about high volume third party sellers, or else boot them off the platform. The laws, which seek to combat the resale of stolen goods online, call for marketplaces and sellers to ramp up their consumer disclosures around sellers’ identities and options for consumers to report suspected stolen goods
Continue Reading Online Marketplaces: It’s Time to Track, Verify and Disclose Seller Info

Recently, Colorado’s new $0.27 retail delivery fee went into effect. The fee targets all deliveries by a motor vehicle that have at least one item of taxable and tangible personal property. This new levy impacts both in-state and out-of-state retailers, requiring those entities to register with the Colorado Dept. of Revenue and remit funds to the State.
Continue Reading Colorado’s Retail Delivery Fee

Some apparel, fabric and other goods just became more likely to get stuck at the border if U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) suspects they contain cotton from Xinjiang or from companies on a recently published U.S. Government list, or otherwise involve forced labor — whether the brand is aware of it or not. 
Continue Reading Will U.S. Customs Seize Your Presumptively Illegal Apparel? Compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

If you are in the business of buying or selling pork-based products, then you have probably heard of California’s Proposition 12.  As it pertains to pork, the law requires that pig confinement systems are large enough to allow the animals to fully lie down, stand up, extend their limbs, and turn around freely.  We previously wrote about the importance and impact of this law, which went into effect starting January 1, 2022.  Recent developments have since put the law on pause and its future into question.
Continue Reading Sow What Now?: Cal. Hispanic Chambers of Commerce et. al. v. Ross et. al., The U.S. Supreme Court, and California’s Proposition 12

A New York federal court recently granted Apple a motion to dismiss a case where an alleged class accused Apple of misleading consumers about the waterproof nature of their iPhones. Apple had several allegedly misleading advertisements about their iPhones, with advertisements stating that the iPhone 11 is “water resistant up to 2 m for 30 min.” The court granted Apple’s motion to dismiss because the plaintiffs did not allege how they were harmed by Apple’s advertisements. Apple’s user manuals and warranties also disclaimed coverage for liquid damage. While the plaintiffs’ phones allegedly malfunctioned due to some amount of water contact,
Continue Reading The Latest Win for Apple: Dismissal of Class Action about iPhones