As we navigate these current times, we ask ourselves, how can I protect my family and myself in a time where others may take advantage of this difficult situation? We often hear the phrase “price gouging,” but what does it really mean for you and your family.
During a state of emergency, declared locally or otherwise, merchants are prohibited from taking an unfair advantage of consumers by increasing prices for essential goods and services. The legislator has purposefully made such actions unlawful in an effort to protect consumers and the public from unjustified increases in prices; and have further provided greater protections for the elderly and disabled.
It is unlawful for any person, contractor, or business to sell any food item or goods for a price of more than more than 10 percent greater than the price charged for the same good immediately prior to the declaration of emergency.
As a result, a business cannot engage in unjustified price increases of items such as food, emergency supplies such as water, soaps, diapers, batteries, medical supplies such as prescription and nonprescription medications, bandages, gauze, antibacterial products, and other goods and services such as storage services and gasoline.
The general public must also be aware that the protection against price gouging isn’t only limited to food or goods, but also applies to permanent and temporary housing. Operators of hotel and motels are also prohibited from increasing their regular rates; as are persons or businesses prohibited from increasing rental prices for housing to an existing or prospective tenant.
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If you feel you have been a victim of price gouging, consider your options. Our office is here to provide you an insight on the protections you are entitled to.
As the next weeks are unpredictable, consider your rights. Many Californians are also worried about possible layoffs or termination of their employment. If you are concerned about your rights as an employee, our offices are well versed in the field of employment law.
An employee in such positions should be concerned with unemployment benefits, severance packages, timely receipt of their last paycheck, and should ensure that they receive all wages owed at time of separation. If you have doubt or are concerned that your rights have been disregarded by your employer, contact our offices and we will advocate for you.