Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Announces Introduction of New Legislation to Increase Fines for Violation of NYS Fur Labeling Law She Passed in 2007

Investigation reveals well-known retailers have disregarded fines meant to prompt retailers to follow law

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal today announced that she will be introducing legislation that would dramatically increase the fines associated with the mislabeling or failure to label fur and “faux” fur products correctly.

“After my investigation with the Humane Society of the United States uncovered that Century 21 in my district, as well as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale's in New York, were violating the law that I passed to require clear labeling in relation to fur, it became clear that the fines were far too low to provide an incentive to stores to comply,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “Some people prefer not to wear fur for ethical or other reasons; consumers rely on labels to make informed purchasing decisions and retailers have to step up.”

In 2007, Rosenthal passed legislation that makes it illegal for any person or corporation to import, sell, offer for sale or manufacture articles of clothing that include fur that is not labeled “faux” or “real” fur, or is incorrectly labeled. This means that even retailers, such as Century 21, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s, which sell real and/or faux fur, have a responsibility to ensure that the garments they carry are labeled correctly. To make it easier for retailers to comply, Assemblymember Rosenthal included a provision that would allow retailers to affix a sticker to the price tag indicating whether the fur used in the garment is real or faux.

“It’s unconscionable that such well-regarded retailers would so brazenly shirk their responsibilities under New York State,” said Assemblymember Rosenthal. “Frankly, I am surprised that these retailers would not hold consumer trust in a higher regard. Perhaps the threat of additional fines will goad them into complying with the law.”

The fines will be raised to $1,500 for an initial violation from $500 and $3,000 for each successive fine from $1,000.