Last fall, the New York Times reported, "With the rise of social media, many business owners have sought to control what their employees post on the various social networks." However, recent litigation proves that employers should tread carefully. The National Labor Relations Act gives every employee the right to engage in protected concerted activity, which includes complaints made from employees to other employees made on social media.
American Idol Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips has filed a petition with the California Labor Commissioner, arguing that 19 Entertainment, Inc. (the producer of the hit talent show) unlawfully acted as a “talent agency” in contravention of the California Talent Agencies Act (CTAA).
Under the CTAA, only licensed talent agencies may procure jobs — such as media appearances — for its clients, a restriction that 19 Entertainment allegedly flouted when it engaged Phillips for — or, according to Phillips, in many instances forced him to accept — a number of high-profile media appearances, including those on The Tonight Show and The Today Show. According to the petition, American Idol contestants must enter into a number of agreements with 19 Entertainment to appear on the program, including a recording agreement, a management agreement, and a merchandising agreement.
On January 12, 2015, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued a proposed regulation to revise the required warning statement for products containing chemicals listed by the state under Proposition-65 (Prop-65). A link to the Prop-65 proposal can be found here.
In part, the proposal would require Prop-65 warnings to specify certain listed chemicals by name. Under the proposal, OEHHA would also establish a new website that would provide detailed information for the public about exposures to Prop-65 listed chemicals. The proposed revisions to Prop-65 warning requirements are the first substantive revisions to the law in over 30 years.
Last week, the Footwear Distributers and Retailers of America (FDRA) hosted a briefing on cybersecurity trends in the retail industry. In light of the high-profile data breaches in 2014 — including many at the retail level — the briefing aimed to inform the footwear industry on the nature of today’s cyber threats and the way to most effectively secure private information.
In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit ruled for discount retailer Costco in a copyright dispute involving the importation and sale of “gray market” Omega watches. In Omega S.A. v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Case Nos. 11–57137, 12–56342 (9th Cir. Jan. 20, 2015), the Ninth Circuit held that Costco’s sale of Omega watches was permissible under the first sale doctrine, which protects the resale of a lawfully produced copyrighted work.
Washington, DC — In January, Arent Fox LLP secured a summary judgment on behalf of the sportswear manufacturer Fila against a website that was cybersquatting and appeared to carry the company’s internationally recognized label. This is the second domain name Arent Fox obtained in recent months for Fila after successfully arguing that the website registrant’s actions violated the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
Worldwide e-commerce sales are anticipated to increase nearly 21% to $1.592 trillion in 2015. More fashion brands will consider omni-channelling to use technology to deliver their products across a variety of channels. These opportunities allow companies to grow, but also give rise to new legal hurdles.
In this episode of Fashion Counsel, partner Anthony Lupo talks with attorney Kelli Scheid about tactics fashion brands should think about when they're expanding into e-commerce. Topics covered include potential issues with distributor agreements.
On February 17, Anthony Lupo, head of Arent Fox’s Fashion Law practice will present “Current Legal Trends in the Footwear, Fashion, Accessory, and Retail Sector” during MAGIC, in Las Vegas. The discussion will focus on issues in class-action lawsuits, omni-channeling, social media, and global data protection in the fashion sector. The presentation will provide best practices and lessons learned while in the trenches. They will also cover legal implications of collecting data in-store, online, through mobile apps, and internationally while providing advice for avoiding complex compliance issues around loyalty programs and gift cards. Matt Priest of FDRA will moderate the panel.
What’s the News?
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue recently issued a draft directive setting out what records must be kept for all vendors, retailers, and contractors using computerized point-of-sale (POS) systems. The purpose of the new recordkeeping and record retention guidelines is to ensure that the state can suitably verify what was sold and whether the retailer paid the proper amount of tax. These new guidelines add to the growing list of state regulations targeting POS data collection practices. Any retailers with a presence in Massachusetts may be affected by implementation of the directive and should carefully review the guidance to ensure that their POS systems conform to the requirements.
On November 26, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law S. 2141, the “Sunscreen Innovation Act,” which modifies the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) process for the review and approval of over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreen ingredients. The legislation was initially introduced by Sen. Jack Reid (D-RI) on March 13, 2014. The bill was then passed by the Senate on September 17, 2014 and by the House of Representatives on November 13, 2014 before being signed into law. The legislation has at least some industry support, as L’Oréal USA — a major marketer of sunscreen products — issued a statement in support of the legislation, noting that it will “provide American consumers greater access and choice when it comes to the latest and most effective sunscreen products available.”
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