In June, new laws will go into effect that restrict employers’ ability to request and use criminal history information about applicants in three jurisdictions: Kansas City, Missouri; the State of Washington; and the city of Spokane, Washington. Below are summaries of the new restrictions and links to the laws. Continue Reading June Will Bring New Ban-the-Box and Fair Chance Laws

In a recent article published in Law360, Hunton & Williams LLP attorneys Walter Andrews, Malcolm Weiss and Paul Moura discuss two recent decisions in Tree Top Inc. v. Starr Indem. & Liab. Co., No. 1:15-CV-03155-SMJ, 2017 WL 5664718 (E.D. Wash. Nov. 21, 2017). There, the Eastern District of Washington rejected an insurer’s attempt to escape insurance coverage for a Proposition 65 lawsuit filed against juice-maker, Tree Top Inc.  Continue Reading Hunton Attorneys Discuss Insurance Coverage for Prop. 65 Claims and Key Takeaways from Recent Court Rulings

On July 26, 2017, an amusement ride named “Fire Ball” at the Ohio State Fair broke apart, killing one passenger and injuring seven others. This deadly incident may trigger a CPSC investigation into the matter.

Prior to 1981, the CPSC exercised jurisdiction over all amusement rides. But after several high-profile cases challenged the CPSC’s jurisdiction over amusement rides with mixed results, an amusement parks trade group successfully lobbied Congress to exempt stationary amusement rides from the CPSC’s jurisdiction. In 1981, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Amendments, which amended the definition of “consumer product” to explicitly exempt stationary amusement rides.

Continue Reading Recall Roundup: July

On April 18, 2017, the state of Washington passed House Bill 1493 (“HB 1493”), which sets forth requirements for businesses who collect and use biometric identifiers for commercial purposes. Under HB 1493, a biometric identifier includes a fingerprint, voiceprint, retina, iris or other unique biological pattern or characteristic used to identify a specific individual. Commercial use includes “a purpose in furtherance of the sale or disclosure to a third party for the purpose of marketing of goods or services when such goods or services are unrelated to the initial transaction in which a person first gains possession of an individual’s biometric identifier.” This bill comes after several other states have passed similar legislation regulating the commercial use of biometric identifiers, including the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (740 ILCS 14) (“BIPA”) and the Texas Statute on the Capture or Use of Biometric Identifier (Tex. Bus. & Com. Code Ann. §503.001).  Continue Reading Washington State Passes New Legislation on Collection and Use of Biometric Identifiers

This past week, several consumer actions made headlines that affect the retail industry.

Litigation Bubbles Up Over Wal-Mart Beer Claims

Wal-Mart was sued in Ohio last week in a proposed class action, alleging that the company falsely marketed and priced mass-produced beer as craft beer. The plaintiff explains that he bought a 12-pack of beer that was packaged to look like craft beer, and sold at a higher price point than other mass-produced beers. In order to be called a craft beer, the Brewers Association requires that the brewery make fewer than 6 million barrels annually and be less than 25 percent owned by a mass producer. Wal-Mart’s beer is a part of a collaboration with Trouble Brewing, which the complaint alleges does not exist but is a subset of a large mass beer producer. Continue Reading Consumer Protection in Retail: Weekly Roundup

Seattle may be the next municipality to propose a predictable scheduling ordinance requiring employers to provide advanced notice of work schedules and compensation in the event schedules are changed. The Seattle City Council’s Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee recently initiated regular meetings to discuss the issue of “Secure Scheduling,” and confirmed plans to continue discussions over the next several months to further develop the proposed ordinance. The Mayor’s office is also pursuing its own inquiry into this issue.  Continue Reading Monitoring Predictable Scheduling Legislation: Is Seattle Next?

On April 27, 2016, a federal district court judge in the Western District of Washington ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) had proven that Amazon.com had engaged in unfair business practices in billing Amazon account holders for in-app charges without express, informed consent to such charges. At the same time, the judge denied the FTC’s request for a permanent injunction against Amazon, finding no cognizable danger of a recurring violation. The judge ordered additional briefing on calculating monetary relief. Continue Reading Judge Rules that Amazon Unfairly Billed Parents for Their Kids’ In-App Purchases