Our colleagues Anthony Argiropoulos and Sheila A. Woolson have a post on the Workforce Bulletin blog that will be of interest to our readers in the health care and life sciences industry: “Coronavirus Emergency Declarations Trigger Anti-Price Gouging Laws.”
Following is an excerpt:
The particulars of the laws vary with each state. Some states set a percentage above which the merchant cannot increase the price. Others simply state the price increase cannot be “unconscionable.” Some laws apply to any party in the distribution chain, whereas others make allowances for increases if the party is simply passing along its own increased cost. As a result of the differences, ensuring compliance with these laws can be challenging for businesses that provide consumer goods and services in different states, as a one-size-fits all approach will likely not work. Violations can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars in penalties, injunctions, lawsuits, criminal penalties and/or other measures.
Thus, in addition to balancing all of the other concerns created by the current crisis, employers will also have to be diligent about managing prices for products and services to ensure that they do not run afoul of the emergency anti-price gouging laws that are being triggered by the emergency declarations prompted by the threat of the coronavirus. This can be challenging where employers sell goods or services in multiple states.