Legal Update: States Restrict Telemarketing in Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

Houston, TX – New York’s emergency COVID-19 declaration triggered a recently enacted New York law prohibiting unsolicited telemarketing calls during an emergency. See N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §§ 399-pp(7)(f), 399-z(5-a) (2019). Louisiana’s emergency order triggered a similar ban. See La. Stat. Ann. § 844.31 (2018). Critically, any calls in those jurisdictions must be placed with the recipient’s express consent. Unlike the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the New York and Louisiana bans apply to all landline and cell phone numbers, telephone numbers not on a Do-Not-Call list, and includes all forms of technology used to place the calls. Both bans, however, exclude telemarketing calls to an existing or prior business relationship.

McDowell Hetherington has extensive experience handling telemarketing litigation and compliance for some of the nation’s largest companies. Please contact MH attorneys Will Thomas, Matt Matthews, and Jodi Swick with any telemarketing compliance questions as jurisdictions continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.