DCA 101: What Start-Up Businesses Need To Know About Consumer Protection Law

Published on January 16, 2019, 12:37 pm
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Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced DCA 101, a new series of informational workshops provided by DCA lawyers to help New York City businesses understand and comply with the law.

DCA will hold these ongoing workshops quarterly and will target industries where the Agency is seeing higher rates of violations. The first workshop, “DCA 101: What Start-Up Businesses Need to Know About Consumer Protection Law,” will offer newly emerged online or technology-oriented businesses with an overview of the laws and regulations that govern advertising to New York City consumers. Start-up business entrepreneurs, marketing officers, and in-house counsel, are encouraged to attend to learn how to ensure their advertising, such as subway ads, are compliant with New York City law. The free event is co-hosted by New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering and will be held at the Urban Future Lab at 15 MetroTech Center in Brooklyn. This new series of workshops is part of DCA’s 50th anniversary celebration during 2019 and, as the new name of the Agency – Department of Consumer and Worker Protection – is rolled out, will become DCWP 101.

“Our goal at DCA is to create a culture of compliance and we hope DCA 101 will provide our local businesses with the tools to succeed,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “With our global reputation as the city that never sleeps, it’s no surprise more tech startups are calling New York City home. Recently we have seen some of them using promotional codes and other advertising in ways that violate New York City law. As these companies continue to operate in our five boroughs, we want to make sure they start on the right foot by knowing how to promote their products and services legally.”

New York City is home to a flourishing technology startup sector that has quickly become a major engine for growth. More than 3,200 tech companies are based in the five boroughs, with some of the most popular industries including real estate, financial technology and digital media. Over the last 10 years alone, NYC’s tech workforce has grown nearly three times faster than the nation’s average and now accounts for 360,000 jobs, making it the largest metropolitan tech workforce in the country. With many new services advertised in print, online and in outdoor outlets such as subway cars and bus shelters, it is crucial for businesses to know how to remain in compliance with the law. Check DCA’s event calendar for future DCA 101 events.

DCA regularly holds a wide variety of events to ensure businesses comply with the Consumer Protection Law, including the Visiting Inspector Program which provides licensees with a violation free, educational inspection so they can better understand the DCA laws that apply to their business and how to avoid fines. DCA also conducts Business Education Days, where staff visit various businesses along commercial corridors to share educational material and inform owners and workers of the laws that apply to their specific business. DCA also houses the Office of Labor Policy & Standards, the City’s dedicated central resource that promotes and protects fair workplaces to ensure all workers can thrive, regardless of immigration status. This includes enforcing workplace laws and educating workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities under those laws.

The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCA licenses more than 81,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCA protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCA empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCA also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCA and its work, call 311 or visit DCA online here or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

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