“Made in USA” Right to Cure Legislation — Show Your Support for AB 2827

Last month’s round table discussion at EO Products was very insightful and now there is a piece of legislation that needs your support.  As I previously discussed here, a significant number of companies doing business in California are facing frivolous class action lawsuits and threats of litigation because of their use of a “Made in USA” claim on their products.  Many of the companies do in fact meet the standard required under current law, but that hasn’t stopped plaintiffs’ attorneys.  In an effort to battle such frivolous suits, Assembly Member Marc Levine has introduced AB 2827 to provide companies with a right to cure period, including agreeing to make prospective changes to allegedly offending labels.  Below is language you may use to write to your representatives in the California legislature.  Not located in California? No problem– share this with any trade associations you are a member of or share it with your friends located in California.  Ask them to write their representatives.  I hope you will show your support. 

As the introduction to AB 2827 explains, existing law prohibits the sale or offering of sale in the state of any merchandise on which the merchandise or on its container appears the words “Made in U.S.A.,” “Made in America,” “U.S.A.,” or similar words when the merchandise or any article, unit, or part thereof, has been entirely or substantially made, manufactured, or produced outside of the United States.

Also, under the Made in California Program within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, to be eligible to represent that a product is made in California, a company is required to, among other things, establish that the finished product could lawfully use the “Made in U.S.A.” label under Section 17533.7 of the Business and Professions Code.

Where a company is alleged to have violated the California “Made in USA” law, the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, permits an action for damages upon 30 days written notice to the offending company.  If enacted, AB 2827 would prohibit a civil action unless written notice of the alleged violations is provided and the person or business has not cured the alleged violation within 33 days of receiving the notice.  Most importantly, AB 2827 provides that agreeing to prospectively change or remove the “Made in USA” claim, would be sufficient to cure the alleged violation and would therefore preclude the filing of a lawsuit.

 

The bill needs support if it is going to get passed.  If you would like to see AB 2827 pass, please write your California legislative representatives. You may copy and paste the following:

Dear ______:

I am proud to support AB 2827 to give California companies an opportunity prior to a civil action to voluntarily take action to address alleged minor labeling discrepancies for the “Made in California” and “Made in USA” labels.

Most companies that use “Made in California” and “Made in USA” labels do so because of laws in several nations requiring a country of origin label on the products we export to those countries. We also use the label because we are proud to be located in California and provide jobs and economic growth in our communities.

AB 2827 is critically important as an alarming number of California companies have recently received demand letters alleging violations that do not exist and demanding that these companies immediately take action which essentially would put them out of business. Some companies have already been sued based on groundless and unsupportable allegations.  These companies have no choice but to engage in costly litigation or pay jackpot justice settlements.

AB 2827 proposes a simple Right to Cure which is consistent with Rights to Cure that already exist in ADA law, labor law, and in other areas of civil law. Right to Cure provisions can represent a real and necessary protection from predatory lawsuits.

I ask for your support in the passage of AB 2827. Together, we can create a business environment in California that is fair and allows businesses to rectify mistakes in good faith.

Take away… “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”  –Albert Einstein

Okay, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic…but you get the point.  Be one of the heard.

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