State “stay at home” orders now in 30 states

What seemed like a novel and crazy idea a little over a week ago has now become the majority approach to “flattening the curve” in the United States. And those states that have not yet adopted “stay at home” or “shelter in place” orders generally have comparable restrictions at the county, city, or municipal levels.

Check out our updated state and local tracker here.

Mitigating advertising risks during the COVID-19 crisis

During this time of crisis, pharmaceutical and consumer product companies along with retailers are doing their best to provide the public with products to prevent and treat COVID-19. At the same time, the FTC and FDA have announced that they will be particularly vigilant in policing unscrupulous or overzealous marketers making unsubstantiated, misleading, or false health claims about their products.

In order to mitigate litigation and regulatory risk, companies manufacturing or selling healthcare products should exercise special care in scrutinizing promotional claims that may state or imply that the products prevent or treat COVID-19, influenza, or other diseases.  Specifically, advertising claims for hand washes and hand sanitizers should be reviewed with special attention to the FDA’s recent regulatory actions concerning these products.

Check out our Legal Update to learn more about the government’s recent actions and how you can mitigate your advertising risk.

Federal and state authorities warn against price gouging

In the wake of the coronavirus, some sellers of essential goods and services have tried to greatly increase the cost of their products to take advantage of increased demand. But sellers beware: Public officials all over the country have expressed a willingness to prosecute price gougers and companies that may facilitate sales of goods with inflated prices.

Check out our detailed analysis of federal and state responses to price gouging.

Coronavirus business restrictions update and links to orders

For those of you have been following our running list of state and local business restrictions here on the blog, we are happy to report that we have been upgraded to a dedicated website. And with our upgrade comes an added feature–links to the state and local orders we are discussing. Please continue to follow us there (we will also keep updating the blog, but it is not nearly as fancy).

UPDATE: business restrictions and limitations

To say the least, it was a tumultuous weekend. We have updated our coronavirus business restrictions and limitations table, including our first “Hunker Down” order. We anticipate rapid and frequent changes over the next several days, and we will do our best to keep up-to-date.

We also would love for you to join us this Tuesday, March 24 at 9 AM PDT for a webinar to discuss updates on these state and local activities, with a focus on the orders issued in California, New York, Illinois, and Texas, as well as our insights into interpreting these orders and the risks of getting it wrong. You can register here.

“Stay at Home” and “Shelter in Place” restrictions grow; updated business restrictions table

We continue to update our list of state and local business restrictions and limitations as quickly as we can given the rapidly changing landscape.

As of Friday night, “Stay at Home” and “Shelter in Place” orders continue to proliferate, as Connecticut and Illinois have joined California and New York. In general, under these orders, the public is required to stay at home except for essential activities, and all “non-essential” business must cease public or in-person operations. Remote working is permitted.

“Essential” businesses are set forth in detail in each order, but they largely seek to encompass the business sectors set forth in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response, issued on March 19, 2020. These business sectors include:

  • Healthcare/Public Health
  • Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and First Responders
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Water and Wastewater
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Public Works
  • Communications and Information Technology
  • Other Community-Based Government Operations and Essential Functions
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Financial Services
  • Chemical
  • Defense Industrial Base

 Stay safe and healthy!

UPDATED: Coronavirus restrictions and limitations

We have just finished a big update of our ongoing coronavirus tracker, which includes California’s stunning “Stay-at-Home” order just issued this evening. We will continue to monitor state and local restrictions nationwide, incorporating them each day.

Stay safe and healthy! Consider a Friday “Quarantini” and a virtual Happy Hour!

Coronavirus business restrictions and limitations

Please visit our new State and Local Restrictions webpage for updated information: https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en/knowledge/publications/52aa88af/covid-19-and-us-response-a-state-by-state-overview.

In light of the growing number of state and local restrictions and limitations, we thought it would be helpful to publish an informal list of mandates as we become aware of them. We will do our best to update the list as we learn of new requirements, but we caution that this list should only be considered a starting point. Many of the state and local requirements have exceptions (e.g., for “essential” vs. “non-essential” businesses) that require a closer look, and the states and localities with requirements are fluid. Of course, if you see we are missing something, please contact us and let us know. Thanks, and stay safe!

Updated March 24, 2020 at 11:18 PM PDT….

 

State Restrictions/Limitations

Cities

Alabama
  • Retail businesses must limit patronage at any one time to 50 percent of the normally allowable capacity.
  • Closure of restaurants, bars, and breweries except for carry-out and delivery.
  • Ban on gatherings of 25 persons or more.
  • Ban on gatherings of any size if six-foot distance cannot be maintained.
  • Ban of any elective dental or medical procedure.
Alaska
  • All persons who enter Alaska must self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Closure of personal care businesses that cannot maintain 6 foot distance between persons (includes hair salons, day spa and esthetics locations, nail salons, barber shops, and tattoo, body piercing, massage therapy, and tanning facilities).
  • Ban on gatherings of 10 persons or more.
Anchorage:

  • “Hunker Down” order.
  • Closure of all businesses not deemed “critical.”
Arizona
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • Closure of bars, movie theaters, fitness centers.
  • Ban on dine-in services at restaurants and bars.
Arkansas We are not aware of any at this time.
California
  • As of March 20, statewide Stay at Home order in place.
  • All businesses to stop operations except to provide public safety, healthcare, and other essential services (gas stations, pharmacies, banks, grocery, laundromat, restaurant take-out/delivery).
  • Essential businesses to practice 6-foot space between employees and customers.
  • Any local ordinance is suspended to the extent it restricts, delays, or otherwise inhibits the delivery of food products, pharmaceuticals, and other emergency necessities distributed through grocery stores and other retail or institutional channels, including, but not limited to, hospitals, jails, restaurants, and schools.
Shelter in Place orders:

  • The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Marin, Monterey, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz Sonoma, Ventura (elderly only); and the cities of Berkeley and Palm Springs
  • Shelter–in-place order for 3 weeks (Los Angeles until March 31).
  • “Necessary” government offices and “essential stores” remain open (essential stores include: healthcare, grocery, pharmacy, shelter, gas stations, garbage collection, hardware, banks).

Ban on Gatherings:

  • Orange and San Bernardino counties—complete ban
  • Los Angeles and San Diego counties—no more than 50 people
  • Riverside county—no more than 10 people

Beverly Hills:

  • Closure of “non-essential” stores. Essential stores are: grocery stores, food banks, banks, drug stores, car rentals, convenience stores, pharmacies, gas stations, car mechanics, pet supply stores, laundromats, hardware stores, dry cleaners, mail/UPS/Fedex.
Colorado
  • All non-critical businesses to reduce in-person workforce by 50 percent.
  • Fitness centers, casinos, theaters to close; restaurant and bar dine-in banned.
  • Ski resorts ordered closed.
  • Prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people.
Denver and San Miguel County:

  • Shelter in Place order.

Several counties have banned gatherings of more than 50 people.

Connecticut
  • As of March 23, statewide Stay at Home order in place.
  • All “non-essential” businesses to stop in-person operations.
  • As of March 23, statewide Stay at Home order in place.
  • All “non-essential” businesses to stop in-person operations.
  • Non-essential retailers are permitted to be onsite: 1) to offer and fulfill remote ordering and delivery or curb-side pick-up; 2) provide security, maintenance, and receipt of mail and packages, or other services deemed essential in implementing guidance issued by the Department of Economic and Community Development.
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • Fitness centers, theaters to close; restaurants limited to take out/delivery.
  • Closure of malls, bowling alleys, and other places of public amusement.
Delaware
  • Shelter in Place order.
  • Closure of physical locations of non-essential businesses.
  • Closure of restaurants, except for takeout/delivery.
Florida
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 250 people.
  • Closure of bars and nightclubs.
  • All restaurant closed for dining-in, only takeout and delivery.
  • Closure of all gyms and fitness centers.
  • All medically unnecessary, non-urgent or non-emergency procedures delayed.
Broward and Palm Beach counties:

  • Closure of all movie theatres, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, gymnasiums, fitness studios and beaches.

Orlando:

  • Restaurants and bars banned from selling alcoholic beverages on premises.
Georgia
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Closure of bars and nightclubs.
  • All restaurants closed for dine-in, only open for takeout/delivery.
Atlanta:

  • Stay at Home order issued.

Savannah:

  • Bars, gyms and movie theaters closed.
  • Restaurants operate at 50 percent capacity.
Guam
  • Ban on gatherings of 50 or more people.
  • Businesses should operate at no greater than 50% capacity and no greater than 50% seating.
Hawaii
  • Closure of all bars and clubs; restaurants take out or delivery only.
  • Limit social gatherings to no more than 10 people.
  • Closure of theaters, entertainment centers, and visitor attractions.
Honolulu:

  • Restaurants closed except for delivery/take-out.

Oahu and Maui:

  • Stay at Home orders issued.
Idaho
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Bars and restaurants closed to dine-in.
Blaine County:

  • Shelter in Place order issued.
Illinois
  • Stay at Home order issued as of March 20.
  • Closure of all “non-essential” businesses; remote work permitted.
  • “Essential” businesses must adopt mitigation measures.
  • Closure of dine-in restaurants.
Indiana
  • Stay at Home order issued.
  • Closure of all “non-essential” businesses.
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
Iowa
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Ban on dine-in restaurant and bar patronage.
  • Closure of fitness centers, theaters, casinos, senior citizen centers, and adult day care facilities.
Kansas Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people. Wyandotte County:

  • Stay at Home ordered issued.
  • Closure of all non-essential businesses.
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Ban on dine-in restaurant and bar services.
Kentucky
  • Closure of all in-person retail businesses that are not life-sustaining.
  • Ban of dine-in restaurant and bar patronage.
  • Closure of all public-facing businesses that by their nature cannot comply with CDC guidelines concerning social distancing (e.g., entertainment and recreational facilities, gyms, hair salons, spas, concert venues, theaters, etc.).
  • All mass gatherings prohibited (e.g. community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based or sporting events; parades, concerts; festivals; conventions; and fundraisers).
Louisiana
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • Ban on casinos and bars, gyms,
    restaurant dine-in, and movie theaters.
  • Stay at Home order issued.
New Orleans:

  • Ban on bars, health clubs, malls, live performance venues, reception facilities, and dine-in restaurants.
Maine
  • Closure of all public-facing non-essential businesses.
  • Ban on gatherings of 10 people or more.
  • Ban on dine-in restaurants and bars.  
Maryland
  • Closure of all non-essential businesses.
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Closure of all schools, dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, bars, gyms, recreational establishments, and enclosed malls (e.g., retail establishments only accessible from enclosed interior areas).
Massachusetts
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Closure of dine-in restaurants and bars.
  • Closure of all businesses and organizations that do not provide essential services.
Michigan
  • Stay at Home order issued.
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • Closure of dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, bars, and casinos.
Minnesota
  • Advisement against gatherings of more than 250 people.
  • Closure of dine-in restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, amusement parks, or any similar recreational/entertainment facilities.
Mississippi
  • Governor deferred business closures and restrictions to local leaders.
  • Closure of casinos.
Clarksdale:

  • City-wide curfew ordered.

 Southaven and Olive Branch:

  • Restaurants limited to drive-through, delivery, take-out, or curbside.
  • Closure of gyms, bars, salons, theatres.
  • 10-person max on gatherings.

 Oxford:

  • Two-week closure of bars, entertainment venues, theatres, tattoo parlors, barbershop/salons/spas, shopping centers (except where curbside available).
  • 10-person max on gatherings.

 Vicksburg:

  • Established curfew, 50-person maximum at funerals, closed bars, clubs, and taverns (except for carry-out service), liquor stores limited to curbside delivery only.

Tupelo:

  • One-week Shelter in Place order issued.
  • Closure of non-essential businesses: theatres, gyms, recreational facilities, barbers/salons/spas, malls, entertainment venues, retail stores.

 Jackson:

  • Banned gatherings of 10 or more people.
  • Closure of dine-in restaurants and bars.

 Hattiesburg:

  • Closure of dine-in restaurants, bars, gyms, mall common areas, entertainment venues, and dance halls.
Missouri
  • Closure of casinos.
  • Ban on  gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Restaurants permitted to sell unprepared foods to public.
City of Belton, Springfield City, Kansas City, North Kansas City, Franklin County, Platte County, Clay County, Cass County, Greene County, Wyandotte County, Johnson County, and Jackson County, and Leavenworth County:

  • Stay at Home orders issued.

St. Louis:

  • As of March 23, city-wide Stay at Home order in place.
  • In-restaurant dining temporarily closed.

City of Independence:

  • Closure of bars and barbers/salons.
  • Restaurants limited to curbside pickup or deliveries.

Franklin County:

  • Closed golf courses, barbershops/salons, entertainment venues, gyms.

St. Charles County:

  • Sit-down dining and bars temporarily closed.
Montana
  • As of March 21, statewide closure of all dine-in food services, bars, coffee shops, gyms/health clubs, theatres, casinos, and other recreational businesses.
  • Strongly urge limit of gatherings of 50 people or more.
Yellowstone, Butte-Silver Bow, Missoula, Gallatin counties:

  • Closure of bars, wineries, pubs, and casinos.
Nebraska
  • Businesses: no gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • All others: recommend against gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Length and weight regulations suspended for commercial motor vehicles/carriers in business of transporting food, supplies, and emergency response equipment.
  • Waiver of certain restrictions on liquor sales.
Douglas, Cass, Sarpy, and Washington Counties:

  • Gatherings of more than 10 patrons, customers, or invitees at gyms, stadiums, etc. prohibited. 
  • Closure of dine-in restaurants and bars.
Nevada
  • As of March 21, closure of all non-essential businesses that:
    • Promote recreational social gathering activities including, but not
      limited to, recreation centers, clubhouses, nightclubs, movie theaters, massage parlors, adult entertainment establishments, brothels, and live entertainment venues;
    • Promote extended periods of public interaction, including gyms and fitness studios, beauty shops, barber shops, nail salons, tanning
      salons, and wax salons.
  • Closure of dine-in restaurants.
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Essential businesses must adopt risk mitigation measures.
    • Healthcare providers, veterinary services,
      grocery stores, pharmacies, financial institutions, hardware stores, convenience stores, security services, and gas stations.
  • Closure of in-person cannabis dispensaries.
  • CISA Critical Infrastructure businesses, construction, mining, manufacturing, and infrastructure sector labor force must adopt mitigation measures.
  • Any business category not addressed may remain operational if it can perform services without public contact and implement mitigation measures for employees.
New Hampshire
  • Ban of gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • Closure of dine-in restaurants and bars.
  • Authorization for take-out or delivery of beer or wine.
  • Requires all sellers of groceries to use single-use paper or plastic bags.
New Jersey
  • Stay at Home order issued.
  • Prohibition on social gatherings.
  • Closure of brick-and-mortar premises of non-essential retail businesses.
  • Essential retail businesses may remain open, but should shift to pick up and delivery.
  • All businesses must accommodate remote work to extent practicable.
  • Closure of all dine-in restaurants and bars; delivery, take out, and drive through permitted.
  • Closure of all recreational and entertainment businesses.
  • State order expressly pre-empts all inconsistent state and local requirements.
New Mexico
  • Stay at Home order issued.
  • Closure of dine-in restaurants, bars, breweries, etc.; pick up/delivery permitted.
  • Closure of shopping malls, gyms, movie theaters, and other recreational facilities.
  • Non-essential businesses must limit operations.
  • Closure of recreational and entertainment facilities, including casinos.
  • Hotels must reduce to 50% occupancy.
New York
  • As of March 20, state-wide Stay at Home Order.
  • All non-essential gatherings are prohibited.   
  • All non-essential businesses must stop their operations (excludes pharmacies, hospitals, gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores).
North Carolina
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 100 people, recommendations against gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • Closure of dine-in restaurants and bars.
Mecklenburg County:

  • Stay at Home order issued.
  • Residents must stay at home unless they are completing activities essential to their health and safety, need necessary supplies, are taking care of someone, or work at businesses deemed essential.

Durham County:

  • Stay at Home order anticipated.
  • Advisory of limiting gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • Closure of dine-in bars and restaurants, and gyms and movie theaters.
Ohio
  • Stay at Home order issued.
  • All public and private gatherings occurring outside a single house-hold are prohibited.
  • Non-essential business and operations must cease.
  • Any gathering of 10 or more people is prohibited.
Oklahoma
  • Stay at Home order for vulnerable populations anticipated.
  • Order recommending social distancing issued.
Oklahoma City:

  • Ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • Closure of bars, gyms, theaters and the Remington Park Casino.
  • Takeout/delivery only at restaurants.

Tulsa:

  • Closure of theaters, gyms, bars, amusement parks and other similar entertainment facilities.
  • Takeout/delivery only at restaurants.

Norman:

  • Stay at Home order issued.
  • Closure of all nonessential businesses.
  • Residents must stay at home unless engaging in essential activities, which include obtaining necessary supplies, shopping for groceries or food, or caring for a family member.
Oregon
  • Stay at Home Order issued.
  • All non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals are prohibited.
  • Shopping at specific categories of retail businesses, for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, theaters, and yoga studios is prohibited.
  • Closure of playgrounds, sports courts, and other outdoor recreational facilities.
Pennsylvania
  • Closure of all in-person businesses that are not “life sustaining” regardless of whether the business is open to the public.
  • Not applicable to virtual or telework operations (e.g., work from home), as long as social distancing and other mitigation measures are followed in such operations.
  • Life sustaining businesses must follow, at a minimum, the social distancing practices and other mitigation measures defined by the CDC to protect workers and patrons.
  • Delivery, take out, and drive through restaurants permitted.
Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe Montgomery, Philadelphia, and Erie Counties:

  • Stay at Home order issued.
  • Residents must stay home unless they are performing tasks essential to maintain health and safety, getting necessary supplies, or caring for a family member.
  • Closure of all in-person businesses that are not “life sustaining.”  
Puerto Rico
  • Closure of all “non-essential” businesses (excludes supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, and banks). 
  • Imposed mandatory curfew of 9 pm to 5 am until March 30.
Rhode Island
  • Ban on gatherings of 10 or more people.
  • No on-premise food consumption at restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other eateries.
  • Order allowing beer and wine to be included in takeout orders.
  • National Guard activated.
  • Governor urges people to stay home.
  • Closure of all recreational and entertainment facilities, barbershops, salons, theaters, and cinemas.
  • Domestic air travelers quarantined.
South Carolina
  • Ban of all dine-in services at restaurants and bars. beginning on Wednesday, March 18.
  • Non-essential state employees to stay home as of March 19.
  • Governor’s order allowing restaurants to offer beer and wine for takeout.
  • Income tax deadline postponed until July 15.
  • Gatherings limited to three people.
Charleston:

  • Residents urged to stay at home.

Columbia:

  • Restaurants and bars: limit of six people to each table, six feet between tables.
South Dakota Recommendation that businesses limit gatherings to 10 people. Sioux Falls:

  • Gatherings limited to no more than 10 people.

Rapid City:

  • All bars and restaurants to close.
Tennessee
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Closure of dine-in bars and restaurants, gyms.
Nashville:

  • All bars closed; restaurants to operate at 50% capacity.

Knoxville:

  • Recommended restrictions for restaurants, including limiting occupancy and separating tables.
  • All bars, gyms, clubs ordered to close.
Texas
  • Statewide ban on social gatherings of 10 or more people.
  • Closure of bars and dine-in restaurants, gyms, and massage parlors. 
  • Drive-thru, pickup or delivery options permitted.
  • Offices and workplaces may remain open–“employees should practice good hygiene” and work from home if possible.
Austin:

  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people. 
  • Closure of bars and dine-in restaurants.
  • Stay at Home order issued.

San Antonio:

  • Ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • Stay at Home order issued.

Houston, Dallas: 

  • Closure of bars and dine-in restaurants.

El Paso:

  • 50% reduction at dine-in restaurants.

Laredo:

  • Ban on gatherings of more than 50 people (does not include grocery stores, shopping malls, or other retail establishments).

Dallas County:

  • Stay at Home order issued.

Ft Worth:

  • Stay at Home order issued.
Utah
  • Ban on gatherings of 100 or more people.
  • Statewide grocery shopping hours for seniors only.
Salt Lake City:

  • Closure of inside dining in all restaurants, taverns, bars, and entertainment venues.
Vermont
  • Stay at Home order issued.
  • Closure of bars and dine-in restaurants; restaurants can offer beer and wine for takeout.
  • Closure of all gyms, spas, tattoo parlors, hair and nail salons.
  • Ban on all nonessential gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Remote work required whenever possible.
Virginia
  • All nonessential businesses closed.
  • Restaurants can still offer carryout service.
  • Restaurants can offer beer and wine for takeout.
  • Public gatherings limited to ten people.
Washington
  • Businesses are expected to ensure adequate environmental cleaning of stores and must designate an employee or officer to implement a social distancing plan for their business.
  • Closure of food courts, taverns, coffee and doughnut shops, ice cream parlors, wine and beer tasting venues, breweries and distilleries, beauty salons, barbers, nail salons, gyms and fitness centers, non-tribal card rooms, museums, galleries, theaters, bowling alleys, funeral and memorial services, tattoo parlors, youth sports and youth clubs.
Wash., D.C.
  • No gatherings of more than 50 people. Express exceptions for offices, grocery stores, and other retail establishments if social distancing practices observed.
  • Ban on dine-in service at bars and restaurants. 
  • Closure of gyms, spas, and theaters.
West Virginia
  • Statewide Shelter in Place order issued. Non-essential businesses and operations must temporarily cease..
  • Closure of dine-in bars and restaurants.
  • Closure of casinos.
  • Closure of gyms, recreational facilities, barbershops, and salons.
Wisconsin
  • No gatherings of more than 10 people; retail, food, and commercial establishments exempted with social distancing guidelines.
  • Closure of all bars and dine-in restaurants.
Wyoming Closure of restaurants, bars, theaters, gymnasiums, child care facilities, and schools.

 

What to expect from CPSC (at least for a little while)

Today at the International Consumer Product Health & Safety Organization annual meeting, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Acting Chairman Bob Adler delivered the keynote address. Adler provided some insight into his priorities for the Commission for the foreseeable future, recognizing that he is currently the Acting Chairman and a Democrat—with the presidential election coming in November, it is unclear how much longer he will be in this role. Overall, he intends to focus on providing stability to the Commission for however long he is the Acting Chairman. Beyond this,  here is a rundown of his comments and his specific priorities, with his statement on increased use of civil penalties and unilateral safety warnings topping the list of worrisome developments:

  • Increased use of unilateral safety warnings: in an effort to more quickly communicate CPSC’s belief that a product is dangerous, he has instructed staff to more readily issue unilateral safety warnings when a company will not agree to take corrective action (for context, CPSC has already issued three safety warnings this year after having rarely used this communications tool for many years).
  • Increased use of civil penalties: after what looks like a dramatic decline in the use of civil penalties since 2017 (especially for Section 15(b) failure to report), Adler has directed CPSC staff to make sure it uses every tool at its disposal to promote public safety, which includes civil penalties. He echoed his own prior statements and those of former Chairman Elliott Kaye that Congress’s increase of civil penalty thresholds in 2008’s Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was a clear message to CPSC to increase the use of this tool.
  • Section 6(b) frustration: He expressed his continued displeasure with Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, which sets forth a procedure CPSC must follow before releasing product/manufacturer-specific information to the public. Adler said that no other comparable regulatory agency is forced to get manufacturer consent prior to releasing specific safety information, and the “endless and frivolous objections” delay the dissemination of product safety information to the public.
  • New mandatory standards: addressing a product safety issue that CPSC has focused on over the years, Adler stated that writing of a mandatory standard addressing furniture tip-over is “well underway.” Beyond this CPSC priority, Adler noted that the Commission will continue progress on standards for crib bumpers, inclined sleepers, and other children’s products.
  • Creation of Consumer Ombudsman position: acknowledging that consumer access to CPSC is paramount, Adler announced the creation of this role, tasked with creating a central place for consumers to contact and interact with the Commission.
  • Increased inclusion of all stakeholder groups in the creation of voluntary standards: Adler expressed admiration for the effectiveness and seriousness of voluntary standards organizations (e.g., ANSI, ASTM), but still noted disappointment that voluntary standards do not always reflect the consensus of all stakeholders. He advocated for greater inclusion of consumers, NGOs, and small businesses.  
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