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Telemarketing Restrictions During a State of Emergency

With the federal government and most states under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, telemarketers should be aware of laws that restrict telemarketing calls during a state of emergency.  

For instance, New York, which declared a state of emergency on March 7, 2020,  has a law called the Nuisance Call Act that took effect on March 1, 2020 and which is codified in NY GBL § 399-z(5)(a) and NY GBL § 399-pp(7)(f).  The law prohibits telemarketers from "knowingly making unsolicited sales calls to any individual in a city, county, town or village during a declared state of emergency or disaster emergency."  The only exceptions are when callers have consent to contact the party or when there is an ongoing Established Business Relationship.  

Louisiana, which declared a state of emergency on March 11, 2020, also has a law that prohibits non-exempt telephone solicitations into the state during a state of emergency. The relevant exemptions are listed in La. R.S. 45:844.31.

Before beginning any telemarketing campaign in today’s environment, you should confirm that the type of calls to be made are permissible.

For assistance determining whether your business will be affected by these restrictions, please contact the Olshan attorney with whom you regularly work, Andrew Lustigman and/or Safia Anand.

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