Empire State of Mind: Governor Cuomo Proposes Bill to Provide Immediate Assistance for New Yorkers Impacted by COVID-19

Update: This story has been updated to reflect the governor’s approval of the bill.

On March 18, 2020, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed a bill guaranteeing job-protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of COVID-19. The law is more narrow than the version Gov. Cuomo announced Tuesday, which included a statewide sick program that would have remained in effect beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The provisions of the legislation are set to take effect immediately. Continue Reading

The U.S. Coronavirus Inbound Travel Ban Has Been Expanded to Flights from the U.K., Ireland, and Schengen countries, in Addition to the Previous Ban from China and Iran

On Monday, March 16th, 2020, the U.S. will be extending the March 13th, 2020 “European Travel Ban” to certain foreign nationals who have been in the United Kingdom and Ireland for 14 days prior to boarding.  These two countries were previously exempted from the Wednesday, March 11th Presidential Proclamation (the “First Proclamation”). Continue Reading

Coronavirus And The Retail Industry: Pricing and Advertising Issues

With the continuing spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19” or “coronavirus”), retailers are sure to face a number of issues that they can and should prepare for. The primary issues facing retailers will likely be supply chain issues, covered here (The Impact of Coronavirus on Supply Chain), and employment issues, covered here (What Employers Need to Know to Prepare for Coronavirus). This post addresses certain pricing and advertising issues that may also arise as a result of the spread of coronavirus.

advertising; CVOID 19; Coronavirus Continue Reading

Coronavirus And The Retail Industry: Delivery Issues

With the continuing spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19” or “coronavirus”), retailers are sure to face a number of issues that they can and should prepare for. The primary issues facing retailers will likely be supply chain issues, covered here (The Impact of Coronavirus on Supply Chain), and employment issues, covered here (What Employers Need to Know to Prepare for Coronavirus). This post addresses issues involving delivery of orders that may also arise as a result of the spread of coronavirus. Continue Reading

Coronavirus And The Retail Industry: Customer Interactions and Safety

With the continuing spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19” or “coronavirus”), retailers are sure to face a number of issues that they can and should prepare for. The primary issues facing retailers will likely be supply chain issues, covered here (The Impact of Coronavirus on Supply Chain), and employment issues, covered here (What Employers Need to Know to Prepare for Coronavirus). This post addresses issues concerning in-store customer interactions. Continue Reading

After Four Decades, FTC Announces Regulatory Review of The Endorsement Guides: What Does This Portend for Digital Advertisers and Social Media Platforms?

On February 12, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (“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 and amended in 2009, as part of a systematic review of all current FTC rules and practices.  The FTC’s 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.  The Endorsement Guides have steadfastly required transparency in advertising and that, if there is a connection between an endorser and the maker of a product being advertised or promoted which, if disclosed, might affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement, such connection must be disclosed clearly and conspicuously.  In the proposed notice, the FTC requested comment on a variety of questions, including the following: Continue Reading

FTC Disclosure Guide Signals More Influencer Scrutiny

*This article originally appeared in Law360 in December 12.

A recent 2018 report disclosed that almost three-quarters of U.S. millennials and their Gen Z successors follow social media influencers, and the majority say they trust influencers more than their favorite celebrities when it comes to advice about products or brands.

Authenticity and genuinely caring about consumer interests are the most important traits when deciding whether to follow an influencer on social media. With the growth of influencers’ ability to reach and persuade significant portions of the population, their role has come under increasing scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission. Continue Reading

Proposition 65: California Clarifies Responsibilities To Warn Amongst Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently adopted amendments to California Code of Regulations, section 25600.2 – the section titled “Responsibility to Provide Consumer Product Exposure Warnings.”  These amendments provide more specific guidance for manufacturers, retailers and other businesses in the chain of commerce on how to satisfy their responsibilities to provide consumer product exposure warnings for chemicals listed under Proposition 65. The amendments become effective on April 1, 2020. Continue Reading

FTC’S New “Disclosures 101” Publication And Video Is A Shout Out To Influencers

On November 5, 2019, the United States Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a guide entitled “Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers”[1] and a video “Do you endorse things on social media?” to alert influencers to the laws governing endorsement or recommendation of products or services and provide social media influencers with “tips on when and how to make good disclosures.”[2] The FTC’s written guide states that “[a]s an influencer, it’s your responsibility to make these disclosures, to be familiar with the Endorsement Guides, and to comply with laws against deceptive ads.”[3] The guide explains to influencers that disclosures must be made when an influencer has a “material connection,” that is “any financial, employment, personal, a family relationship with a brand” and that receiving “free or discounted products or other perks” requires a disclosure.[4] In addition, the FTC notes that “tags, likes, pins, and similar ways of showing you like a brand or product are endorsements.”[5] The FTC guide also instructs influencers that “[i]f posting from abroad, U.S. law applies if it’s reasonably foreseeable that the post will affect U.S. consumers. Foreign laws might also apply.”[6] The FTC notes that disclosures must be in simple and clear language that is placed “so it’s hard to miss” and should be placed with the endorsement itself. Disclosures that “appear only on an ABOUT ME or profile page, at the end of posts or videos, or anywhere that requires a person to click MORE” will not be sufficient.[7] The FTC gave the following guidance with regard to endorsement posts in photographs, video and live streaming: Continue Reading

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