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Judge issues first ruling dismissing lawsuit for Braille on gift cards

Earlier this year, we posted about the new wave of ADA claims that flooded the district courts in New York concerning Braille on gift cards. Four months later, a judge in the Southern District of New York issued the first ruling to shut down one plaintiff’s claims, holding that Title III does not require Braille on gift cards. See Dominguez v. Banana Republic, LLC, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72193

The plaintiff in this case, like all of the other virtually identical complaints, alleged that he was unable to obtain a Braille gift card at a clothing retailer. The plaintiff … Continue Reading

Plans for reopening begin at state, federal level

State coalitions forming

In an effort to plan for reopening their economies, several states have announced regional collaboration efforts. This includes New York and six other Northeastern states, and California, Oregon, and Washington in the west. Earlier this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom outlined a framework to reopen the western economies, predicated on six key indicators: … Continue Reading

Los Angeles orders workers and customers to wear face coverings

We are continuing to track state and local restrictions, updated daily, here.

In a sign of things that may be coming nationally, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has issued an “emergency order” requiring employees of “Essential Businesses” to wear face coverings. The order also requires customers visiting such businesses to wear face coverings, at the risk of not being served if they fail to comply.  Businesses are expressly permitted to refuse entry to any customer not wearing a face covering.… Continue Reading

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.… Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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.… Continue Reading

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).

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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 … Continue Reading

“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 … Continue Reading

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!

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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 … Continue Reading

New York follows Illinois with new lead-content warning requirement for children’s jewelry

In the final week of 2019, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law Assembly Bill A6041 (S4046) to regulate children’s jewelry that contains specified levels of lead. The new law, which will take effect January 1, 2021 (without a “manufactured by” or sell-through date), prohibits the offer for sale or sale in the state of children’s jewelry with lead content greater than 0.004% (40 parts per million [ppm]) but less than 0.01% (100 ppm)* unless it contains a label with the warning language listed below

The bill’s text argues that “stringent controls on the amount of lead … Continue Reading

Braille on gift cards: ADA accessibility issue or novel shakedown?

As retailers and restaurants are well aware, the proliferation of website accessibility claims filed by serial plaintiffs’ counsel is not slowing down. But now a new wave of lawsuits—Braille on gift cards—is flooding the New York federal courts.

Recent cases

Starting in October 2019, a handful of plaintiff’s counsel have filed more than 200 putative class action lawsuits on behalf of visually impaired plaintiffs in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York against retailers and restaurants based upon their failure to sell gift cards with Braille. These lawsuits allege that blind or visually-impaired consumers are deterred from visiting retailers … Continue Reading

Furniture tip-over remains in flux

A brief internet search shows that unambiguously, industry, regulators, and NGOs all agree that furniture tip-over is a priority in the consumer markets sector. However, there is little agreement on the best approach. Over the last year alone, we have seen the U.S. Consumer Product Commission announce that the Commission deems “clothing storage units” that do not meet ASTM F2057-17 as posing a “substantial product hazard” (presumably requiring a Section 15(b) report and perhaps recall). ASTM F2057-17 requires tip-over testing and permanent warning labels for any clothing storage unit over 30 inches in height. CPSC announced this arguably backdoor rulemaking … Continue Reading

TARIFFS! Exclusion process for Section 301 tariffs is now available for List 3 products

Unsurprisingly, tariff issues are becoming more and more prevalent for consumer products manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. In a positive turn, List 3 products are now eligible for exclusions from the significant Section 301 (China) tariffs. Check out this summary and analysis of the process from our international trade colleagues.

 … Continue Reading

Webinar: What do you mean I’m shipping hazmat?

I’m delighted to announce that Norton Rose Fulbright will be hosting a webinar on May 30 at noon CDT with an absolute HazMat pro, Jim Shimko of Labelmaster.

Each day, U.S. businesses transport over one million HazMat shipments, and every one of them is subject to federal standards. Chances are, your company is shipping HazMat whether you know it or not. And while your logistics and operations personnel may be well-versed in the requirements, HazMat is heavily enforced, and in-house counsel should know the basics in case a problem arises. HazMat regulations establish standards for HazMat identification, training, labeling, … Continue Reading

Will new House majority lead to a federal supply chain transparency law?

Privately, companies have long self-regulated supply chains to prevent human trafficking, forced labor, and child exploitation. Meanwhile, governmental efforts have lagged in the public sphere. But the past few years have shown a marked change. California, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia have enacted legislation requiring companies to publicly disclose the steps they are taking to eradicate slavery and human trafficking in their operations and supply chains for each financial year. Canada is currently considering similar legislation.… Continue Reading

California adopts GDPR-like data privacy law

On June 28, 2018, the California legislature enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (the “CCPA”) a sweeping, GDPR-like privacy law that is likely to apply to most retailers that operate in California. It includes disclosure requirements, consumer access rights, opt-out rights, and deletion rights. The new law is set to take effect on January 1, 2020.  Check out this summary and analysis of the law from our cybersecurity and date privacy colleagues.

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Retailers must upgrade online credit card processing security by June 30

By June 30, 2018, retailers accepting digital (online) credit card transactions must cease using encryption protocols known as SSL or TLS 1.0. Retailers must transition to TLS 1.1 or higher (such as the popular TLS 1.2) or else lose the ability to accept credit card payments. Note also that Nevada law requires compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) with respect to Nevada cardholders.

The reason for the change is the PCI DSS, when version 3.1 was issued in April of 2015. Encryption protocol TLS 1.0 dates back to 1999, and was vulnerable to a variety … Continue Reading

New security requirements issued for credit card payments on mobile devices

Check out this new post from my colleague, Sue Ross, covering new standards for mobile device credit card payments, including at retail stores. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council recently announced the new standards, which apply to PIN entry transactions on smartphones and tablets used at point-of-sale. The post is published in Norton Rose Fulbright’s Data Protection Report.… Continue Reading

New Jersey passes new drivers license swipe law

In enacting the Personal Information and Privacy Protection Act (S-1913), New Jersey joins a growing minority of states with so-called “swipe laws.” New Jersey’s law generally aligns with swipe laws in the approximately one-third of other states with such laws, limiting the purposes and type of information a retailer may scan and retain from identification cards. However, New Jersey goes a step further than most in specifying data storage requirements and requiring notification directly to the consumer when ID information is compromised.

Permissible uses

As of October 1, 2017, retailers will only be permitted to scan customers’ drivers’ licenses … Continue Reading

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