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Consumer Fraud Archives

NLRB Finds Retail Chain's Arbitration Clause Violates NLRA Section 7

In Ross Stores, Inc. and Rachel Goss (Case 31-CA-109296 (October 2014)), Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Jay R. Pollack found that clothing retail chain Ross Stores violated the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") when it required employees to sign an agreement that barred them from pursuing collective actions.  Pollack said that the agreement violated Section 7 of the NLRA, which protects employees' rights to engage in concerted activity when acting in a manner intended to improve their working conditions.  In making his decision, ALJ Pollack followed the precedent of the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") in D.R. Horton, 357 NLRB No. 184 (2012), which holds that arbitration agreements cannot prevent employees from engaging in concerted activity.1

NJ bill would reduce penalties for violating Consumer Fraud Act

New Jersey's Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee recently approved a bill meant to reduce penalties for companies that are found by a court to have committed only a technical violation of the state Consumer Fraud Act. Currently, an individual who wins a consumer fraud lawsuit against a New Jersey company is entitled to compensation for the costs of litigation, including attorney fees, even if no damages were suffered by the plaintiff.

PA Supreme Court Narrows Applicability of Habitability Warranty

In Conway v. Cutler Group, Inc., (2014 Pa. LEXIS 2084) the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issued a decision holding that an implied habitability warranty from developers does not extend to secondary purchasers of a property. The Court reasoned that because the secondary purchasers were not a party to a contract with the homebuilders, the homebuilders could not be liable to them for breach of implied warranty.1 Despite the plaintiffs' contention that the implied warranty of habitability was a judicial creation from a 1972 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, the Court held that if the warranty is to be expanded to secondary purchasers, it must be the Pennsylvania State Legislature that makes that decision. 2

False advertising at issue in class action against juice maker

When an investor or consumer decides to sue a business, the case may have merits as a class action, but not every case does. After the lawsuit has been filed, the court will consider the case and determine whether it meets the requirements of a class action. If the issues common to members of the class outweigh the issues specific to each member, then a class action can be certified as such.