Policy Matters

Photo shows a woman at a white board
Doug Clark
Shifting sales-tax laws confuse many retailers

If you ask John Gebhardt whether he’s figured out all the sales-and-use-tax protocols for jurisdictions where customers of Sheffield Furniture & Interiors live, he’ll answer quickly. “No. The rules are changing, and it’s confusing.” Gebhardt handles accounting and human resources for Severegn Furniture Management, which owns Sheffield. The retailer, a

Tablet with AR Technology
Doug Clark
Washington State privacy act earns retailer support

A data privacy bill gathering support in the Washington State Senate protects the interests of consumers and retailers, according to the Washington Retail Association. The measure is SB 6281. Its primary sponsor is Sen. Reuven Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat who chairs the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee.  Mark Johnson,

Photos shows people at trade forum
Doug Clark
China deal marks good step, some HFA members say

The Phase One trade deal with China announced Dec. 13 marked a step in the right direction. That’s one assessment from members of the Home Furnishings Association’s Government Relations Action Team. Others were less positive, and most are waiting to see further developments. The HFA as a whole has not

Image of Legal books and gavel
Doug Clark
HFA supports arbitration to resolve disputes

The Home Furnishings Association has asked leaders of a key U.S. Senate committee to protect employers’ ability to settle disputes with customers and workers through impartial arbitration. The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act passed the House of Representatives in a divided vote in September and now sits in the Senate

Image shows people attending HFA's Washington Fly-in
Doug Clark
HFA’s government relations work was fast-paced in 2019

At one point during the past year, Chris Andresen commented that the furniture tip-over issue was playing out on a four-dimensional chessboard. The senior vice president of Dutko GR, who monitors legislative and regulatory activity in Washington, D.C., for the Home Furnishings Association, wasn’t exaggerating. The STURDY Act was working

warehouse worker
Doug Clark
California retailers must watch new labor laws

Home Furnishings Association members in California must pay attention to new state labor laws taking effect Jan. 1. The laws will affect recruiting and hiring; discrimination, harassment and retaliation protections; leaves of absence and benefits; workplace safety; arbitration; privacy; and wage and hour matters. CalChamber has provided a white paper

Trade barriers suppress economic growth
Doug Clark
Wall Street Journal quotes HFA members on tariffs

An article in The Wall Street Journal about the impact of tariffs on furniture retailers included comments from Home Furnishings Association members Matt Schultz and Ed Menapace. The report by Katy Stech Ferek, published Nov. 11, was headlined, “Furniture retailers start to feel tariff pain more acutely.” “’This has been

Photo shows a boy climbing up a dresser
Doug Clark
HFA welcomes Netflix focus on tip-over danger

The Home Furnishings Association welcomes the Netflix documentary series “Broken,” which shines light on unsafe products, including ready-to-assemble furniture that can tip over on children. “People should know that children have been injured, and in some cases killed, by bedroom furniture that’s fallen over when children have tried to climb

Photo shows Suzanne Diamond
Doug Clark
California mattress recycling program adds futons

California’s mattress recycling program expands to include futons on Jan. 1, giving more responsibilities to retailers. That came as a surprise to Home Furnishings Association member Suzanne Diamond, founder and CEO of The Futon Shop in San Francisco — and probably many other retailers, too. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB

Rick Howard
Home Furnishings Association
HFA government advocacy update: Florida retailers want tax fairness

Featured Story | Political Update | Retailer News Watch | State Reports HFA members in Florida want tax fairness Home Furnishings Association members in Florida are still looking for tax fairness. Florida is one of only two sales-tax states – the other is Missouri – that doesn’t require remote online vendors

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