Two putative class actions recently filed in the Northern District of California preview a new theory of consumer claims relating to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Rather than rely on alleged omissions or representations about health risks, the plaintiffs claim that they relied on marketing statements that indicated the products they purchased were disposable and would completely degrade over time and that the presence of PFAS in the products means those marketing statements were false.
Continue Reading Is a Wave of PFAS Consumer Class Actions on the Horizon?

The City of Los Angeles joined San Diego County and issued an Order that requires certain workers to wear cloth face coverings.
Continue Reading The City of Los Angeles Orders Face Coverings for Certain Workers and Customers, and Requires Certain Employers to Provide Them

In a favorable decision for retailers, a California federal court judge scaled back a proposed class action seeking to bring nationwide class claims. Plaintiff Todd Carpenter alleged that he bought a rodent habitat at a California PetSmart and that the habitat was defective in such a way that his rodents were able to chew through and escape. He filed a class action in the US District Court for the Southern District of California for violations of California consumer protection laws, violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and common law fraud. The plaintiff sought to represent a nationwide class consisting of all purchasers of the rodent habitat along with a California subclass. PetSmart moved to strike the nationwide class on the grounds that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over PetSmart with respect to the nationwide class.
Continue Reading Federal Judge Scales Back Nationwide Class Claims in Case of Escaping Gerbils

In light of the various restrictions on retail businesses being issued nationwide to fight the spread of COVID-19—such as the “safer at home” orders issued in Los Angeles County and throughout the entire State of California last week—one Southern California city is taking action to support local businesses, while continuing to push compliance with the new legal restrictions.
Continue Reading Supporting Local Retail in a Time of Local Restrictions

A newly proposed amendment to the Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 would expand paid sick leave to require employers to provide 40 hours, or 5 days, of sick leave by the employee’s 200th calendar day of employment. Additionally, employers are only able to cap the amount of paid sick leave a worker earns to 80 hours, or 10 days. Finally, the employer is required to allow an employee to carry over up to 5 days of sick leave into the following year of employment. This amendment would necessarily have a negative impact on California retailers, both large and small. 
Continue Reading New California Proposition Seeks to Expand Paid Sick Leave Requirement from Three to Five Days

Each year, the California Chamber of Commerce (“Chamber”) identifies proposed state legislation that the Chamber believes “will decimate economic and job growth in California.” The Chamber refers to these bills as “Job Killers.” In March, the Chamber identified the first two Job Killers of 2019: AB 51 and SB 1. Both bills would negatively impact retailers in California.
Continue Reading California Chamber of Commerce Identifies First “Job Killer” Bills of 2019

On January 7, 2019, California Assemblyman Phil Ting introduced Assembly Bill 161 which would prohibit businesses from providing paper receipts except upon request, citing “significant positive environmental and public health effects.” The goal of the Bill is to reduce consumers’ exposure to chemicals contained on paper receipts, such as BPA, and to reduce the carbon footprint.
Continue Reading Going “Paperless” May Soon Be Mandatory in California