Bill Text: NY A03548 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Relates to voiding and rendering unenforceable contract provisions limiting certain speech by contractees.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 23-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-06-17 - RETURNED TO ASSEMBLY [A03548 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A03548-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 29, 2019
          LI, ABINANTI, OTIS -- read once and referred to the Committee on Judi-
        AN  ACT  to  amend the general obligations law, in relation to requiring
          contractees to waive their rights relating to the  making  of  certain
          statements about contractors
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The general obligations law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
     2  section 5-337 to read as follows:
     3    §  5-337.  Agreements  requiring  contractees to waive their rights in
     4  relation to expressing certain opinions about contractors void and unen-
     5  forceable. 1. (a) A contract or proposed contract for the sale or  lease
     6  of  consumer  goods  or services may not include a provision waiving the
     7  consumer's right to make any statement regarding the seller or lessor or
     8  its employees or agents, or concerning the goods or services.
     9    (b) It shall be unlawful to threaten or to seek to enforce a provision
    10  made unlawful under this section, or to otherwise  penalize  a  consumer
    11  for making any statement protected under this section.
    12    2.  Any waiver of the provisions of this section is contrary to public
    13  policy, and is void and unenforceable.
    14    3. Any person or entity that violates this section shall be subject to
    15  a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars for  the
    16  first  violation,  and five thousand dollars for the second and for each
    17  subsequent violation, to be assessed and collected  in  a  civil  action
    18  brought  by the consumer or by the attorney general.  In addition, for a
    19  willful or intentional violation of this  section,  a  consumer  or  the
    20  attorney  general may recover a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand
    21  dollars.  Under this section, when the civil action is  brought  by  the
    22  consumer,  the  civil  penalty shall be payable to the consumer and when
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 3548                             2
     1  the civil action is brought by the attorney general, such civil  penalty
     2  shall be payable to the state.
     3    4.  The  penalty  provided by this section is not an exclusive remedy,
     4  and does not affect any other relief or remedy  provided  by  law.  This
     5  section shall not be construed to prohibit or limit a person or business
     6  that hosts online consumer reviews or comments from removing a statement
     7  that is otherwise lawful to remove.
     8    §  2.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
     9  have become a law.