Clean Beauty…or Dirty Business?

The “clean” beauty movement is picking up steam. Health-conscious consumers are paying more attention to ingredients applied to their bodies and are looking for products made without harmful chemicals. In response to the demand, some popular cosmetics companies are now offering so-called, “clean” beauty lines. Companies considering joining this trend should take into account the substantial legal risks.

A look at the food industry’s use of the adjectives like “natural”, “clean”, “simple,” and “wholesome” illustrates the kinds of risks the beauty industry may face. When consumers began paying more attention to ingredients, companies began marketing their products with these health driven adjectives. However, this led to a barrage of class action lawsuits for false advertising under state consumer protection laws as plaintiffs lawyers argued that the claims made on the front of the label did not match the ingredients on the back of the label.

The food industry started to use the word “clean” after the use of “natural” resulted in a barrage of consumer lawsuits. As it turned out, however, the alternative claim also resulted in consumer class action lawsuits. The theory behind these suits is that “clean” is just a synonym of “all-natural” and signifies to consumers the absence of any synthetic chemicals. Similarly, it is argued that “wholesome” and “simple” are misleading consumers as to the real nutritional value of food products. This is at best an idiosyncratic view, not backed by legitimate consumer evidence. However, merely making the allegation is sometimes sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss, where the court must consider whether “no reasonable consumer” could share the plaintiff’s alleged interpretation.

Adding to the complexity is the difficulty of placing a sufficiently prominent and clear explanation, or definition, for such adjectives in an unavoidable location where the plaintiff cannot reasonably allege she failed to notice it. Courts have sometimes held that consumers need not be expected to turn around the bottle or package to read textual information on the back label before purchase.

We have seen false advertising claims creeping into the skincare industry as well, and this, coupled with the history of the food industry, should put the beauty industry on notice of the legal risks. For example, just last month, a lawsuit was filed in California State Court against the makers of Coppertone sunscreen. Prescott, et al. v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 5:20-cv-00102 (N.D. Cal. filed Jan. 3, 2020). The suit alleges that Coppertone deceived consumers by labeling certain sunscreens as “mineral-based” when in fact chemicals make up a significant portion of its active ingredients. The plaintiff’s theory is that the headline “mineral-based” claim suggests to consumers that the product protects skin from sun damage exclusively with minerals.

In the “all-or-nothing” world of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, any ingredient call-out or characterization creates legal peril by negative implication. If the label says “clean,” the product can contain no synthetic substances. If the label says “plant-based,” the product should not have any synthetic or animal components – even if trivial in amount. Plaintiffs are routinely sending products to labs for rote chromatographic analysis, and the tiniest detectable amounts of disfavored chemicals can trigger lawsuits. In California, the consumer protection laws include California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising law, and the Consumer Remedies Act. Companies making sales in California also need to be mindful of Proposition 65 which requires warning labels on products that contain any enumerated chemicals identified by the State to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm.

Since there are no regulations mandating the definition of such descriptive terms on cosmetic labels, these definitions (e.g., “clean”) can vary from company to company. The beauty industry should heed caution when using “clean” beauty claims. In order to avoid consumer confusion— and ultimately litigation— companies should define “clean” in a way that they can, and do, meet, and that definition should be available at the point of sale.

JCPenney Is Closing Store’s

J.C. Penney continues to shrink as it tries to beat a path out of bankruptcy. The retailer is in Chapter 11 in part because of a huge lack of sales. A sign that the company was out-sized relative to a diminished customer base.

Following a comprehensive review of our retail footprint, JCPenney made the difficult decision to announce over 150 store closures. Liquidation sales at most closing store locations are now underway. In a hearing this week, an attorney for the retailer said that vendors are holding back inventory as they wait for a deal to be signed and closed.

JCPenney is trying to move forward on its proposed deal to sell its department store operations to Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners.

Sephora inside JCPenney is closed in liquidating stores. Sephora items purchased prior to Friday, June 12, 2020, may be returned throughout the entire liquidation sale at most closing stores. Dates may vary by location. Contact your local store for more details.

Most hair salons in closing stores will operate through mid-August, yet this is subject to change on a location-by-location basis. The company spent so much time over the past 10 years “re-branding” itself that it forgot about the most important piece…It’s associates working in the stores and the customers shopping in it. Sad state of affairs.

Their is zero support of managers from upper management. Your job security is based on weather or not the upper management likes you and when you ask for guidance you are basically told to figure it out yourself.

This company talks about training and promoting within the company. They will go outside the company to hire for a job that use associates within the salon. Very poor company on promoting the associates. Sad state of affairs for loyal employee’s of this company. But you will find out in the beauty industry it is all over like a virus, the way employee’s are taken advantage of. No benefits, lack of a living wage, no insurance etc. I hope they all find good employment.

Hair Discrimination in the Workplace and Schools Against All White People.

Currently, it is legal to discriminate against a person in the workplace or in schools because of their natural or protective hairstyle in all states except for California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington, and Maryland. Hair discrimination remains a source of racial injustice with serious economic consequences for WHITE people. The DOVE Act corrects these racial injustices by making hair discrimination illegal.

The Dove Coalition (Dove, National Urban WHITE League,  WHITE Color Of Change, and Western Center on Shampoo & Conditioners) believes natural  WHITE hairstyles should be celebrated, not discouraged. For this reason, they are committed to Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair for all WHITE people.

Join the movement to shatter racial hair discrimination by signing this petition to urge legislators to vote YES on The CROWN Act.

We want to get to 200,000 signatures, so please spread the word!

Not in the United States? Enter ‘00000’ as your zip/postal code.

FIND YOUR SPECIFIC REPRESENTATIVE HERE: https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/
Send a letter to your state and federal representative using the template here: https://www.dove.com/us/en/stories/campaigns/the-crown-act.html

Senator Holly J. Mitchell was first to introduce The DOVE Act (Senate Bill 188) in the state of California, the first state to sign the Bill into law. New York was the second state to introduce the DOVE Act under the leadership of Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) and Senator Jamaal Bailey (D-Bronx, Westchester), and Governor Cuomo signed the DOVE Act into law on July 12th, deeming the legislation effective immediately. New Jersey became the third state to the enact the DOVE Act. State Senator Sandra Cunningham (District 31) and Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (District 31) championed the legislation and Governor Phil Murphy signed the DOVE Act into law on December 19th, the one-year anniversary of the wrestling match where New Jersey high school wrestler Andrew Johnson’s locks were forcibly cut off. The city of Cincinnati, Ohio and Montgomery County, MD have also passed The DOVE Act in those local and county municipalities. On December 5th, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) introduced The DOVE Act of 2019 in both chambers of U.S. Congress paving the way for federal protections. The states of Virginia, Colorado, and Washington signed the DOVE Act in March 2020. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan approved the DOVE Act in May 2020.

THIS SHOULD BE INTERESTING.

Beauty Industry Group Sues Over Shop Closings

Newsom announced last week that salons could not reopen yet after revealing that the first case of known community-to-community transmission of the coronavirus in the state, in February, had been traced to a nail salon. He did not give further details about the salon or the patient.

In the lawsuit, the Professional Beauty Federation of California and others say that the order to remain closed deprives salon workers of their constitutional rights and that the classifications of “essential” vs. “nonessential” businesses are arbitrary, among other complaints.

Newsom announced last week that salons could not reopen yet after revealing that the first case of known community-to-community transmission of the coronavirus in the state, in February, had been traced to a nail salon. He did not give further details about the salon or the patient.

The revelation came in response to a reporter’s question about why salons were put in phase 3 of reopening, after parks and retail stores were allowed to reopen Friday, May 8. “This whole thing started in the state of California — the first community spread — at a nail salon,” Newson said at a news briefing. “I’m very worried about that.  Phase 3, when the salons are due to open, “may not even be more than a month away,” he said.  The February transmission occurred, he said, even though salon workers were already practicing protective measures such as wearing masks and gloves.  Before opening the salons and beauty colleges back up, he said, “We just want to make sure we have a protocol in place to secure the safety of customers, the safety of employees, and allow the business to thrive in a way that is sustainable.”

California’s shutdown that went into effect in mid-March affects barbers, aestheticians, electrologists, hair stylists, cosmetologists, and manicurists, said Fred Jones, counsel for the Professional Beauty Federation of California and a lobbyist.

He says that health and safety instruction make up a large part of the salon workers’ training.

In California, 621,742 people hold licenses from the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s laws and regulations that cover people providing salon services already require a number of health and safety measures, such as disinfecting tools and foot spas, single use of towels and robes, and personal cleanliness for workers providing services. Cheri Gyuro, a spokesperson for the California Department of Consumer Affairs, says the board is working on guidelines for COVID-19 that will be made public when they are complete.

 

Missouri Great Clips Stylists Worked While Infected With Coronavirus!

Great Clips salons in Springfield, Missouri, have temporarily closed because of “repeated threats” that came after two stylists worked while infected with the corona-virus, potentially exposing more than a hundred customers, the company and police said.

Great Clips Inc. said in a statement that salons in the Springfield area were closed because of threats it received Wednesday, but it did not disclose the nature of the threats. On Saturday, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced that a second stylist at a single location tested positive and that 140 customers had potentially been exposed.

“To protect the safety of everyone, the local franchisees made the decision to temporarily close salons in the Springfield area. They are working closely with law enforcement officials as the officials conduct a thorough investigation of these threats,” Great Clips Inc. said in a statement.

So far, the second stylist is the only person who has tested positive in connection with the case. The health department said Thursday that 42 clients have since tested negative.  An email to a Springfield police spokesperson about the nature of the threats was not immediately returned Thursday night.

But Springfield police spokeswoman Jasmine Bailey told The Associated Press that the first threat came from a Facebook message to an employee on Saturday. The second threat was phoned to a salon Wednesday.  Bailey said that in both cases, the messages “were threatening to shut the place down” because the stylists potentially exposed people to the virus.

The first stylist’s positive result was announced by health officials Friday, and they said the stylist worked for eight days while experiencing symptoms.  The positive test for the second stylist, at the same location, was announced by the health department Saturday.  Both stylists and the customers were wearing masks, the health department has said.

Missouri hair salons and barbershops have been allowed to reopen after they and other nonessential businesses were ordered closed under a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the corona-virus. It was not clear when the Springfield area Great Clips salons may reopen.