CFA News Flash
October 29th, 2014
Minimum Wage Hike Not a 'Done Deal' Yet

(October 27, 2014) A committee of Los Angeles lawmakers decided Tuesday to seek outside help in analyzing the possible effects of increasing the minimum wage to $13.25 or $15.25.  Mayor Eric Garcetti has recommended raising the wage to reach $13.25 in 2017, tying future annual increases to inflation.  Several City Council members want to go even further - they proposed a study on how to raise the wage to $15.25 by 2019.  The plan, either at $13.25 or $15.25, has raised concerns that small businesses and nonprofits might struggle with increased paychecks.

The independent study would examine the possible effects of boosting the wage to either level, as well as the trade-offs of exempting or loosening the rules for small businesses or nonprofits.  The study would be due in February, said Councilman Curren Price.

For  more information on the proposed wage hike study:
Los Angeles Business Journal -  "Council Asks for Minimum Wage Study"
If you would like to write to the Councilman in your district, please call the CFA for the appropriate contact information. 
Nordstrom Loses Suit Over 'Made in USA' Jean Labels

(October 27, 2014)   A California federal judge would not let Nordstrom and AG Adriano Goldschmied Inc., a luxury denim manufacturer, escape a proposed class action that accused them of falsely marketing jeans as “Made in the USA” when they actually contain foreign parts... finding that the suit’s claims weren’t preempted by federal law.

U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw said that while federal laws such as the Federal Trade Commission Act are more lenient than California laws in defining when manufacturers can label their product as being American-made, there’s no reason why Nordstrom and AG Adriano Goldschmied Inc. couldn’t comply with both laws. Instead, the two could apply different labels to products sold in California, he concluded.

“This may be burdensome for defendants, but it is not impossible for them to do so,” the judge found.

Under the FTC Act, manufacturers are permitted to use a “Made in the USA” label even if the product contains foreign components as long as it is “virtually all” made in the United States. Under California business law, however, manufacturers are forbidden from using such a label unless the product is strictly American-made.

Judge Sabraw maintained, “They can simply indicate on the label that their products were ‘Made in U.S.A. of imported fabric and components,’ or something similar that accurately describes where the parts of the product and the product as a whole were sourced and made.”

The judge disagreed with the defendants’ arguments that the FTC Act gave the FTC exclusive rights to oversee labeling requirements, above any state authority, and disagreed with the  argument that a provision contained in the law was indicative of Congress’ intent that the federal law supercede any state law on the matter.

Plaintiff David Paz’s June complaint accused AG and Nordstrom of deceiving consumers into believing that certain jeans manufactured by AG and sold by Nordstrom were entirely made in the U.S. when in fact, they contained foreign components. The suit claimed that the jeans’ fabric, thread, buttons, rivets and certain subcomponents of the zipper assembly were manufactured outside of the United States.

Paz, who purchased a pair of "The Protege” jeans from a San Diego Nordstrom store in May, is seeking to represent a putative nationwide class of consumers who purchased AG products with a “Made in the USA” label that contained foreign parts within the last four years. David Paz is represented by John H. Donboli and J.L. Sean Slattery of Del Mar Law Group LLP.
California Fashion Association
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