Policy Matters

“Most customers just understand it as another recycling fee, so there’s no arguing about it,” Dan Pedersen of Al’s Furniture in Fresno, Calif., says.
Doug Clark
HFA Government Advocacy Update for September 2019

HFA members turn recycling obligation into opportunity As Kevin Matthews sees it, California’s mattress recycling program adds a little more to the cost of doing business in a high-cost state. It increases the workload, according to Dan Pedersen. Yet, both try to manage the program effectively or even turn it

Americans for free trade logo
Doug Clark
Retailers can submit tariff comments

Furniture retailers can submit comments on another proposed increase in tariffs set to take effect Oct. 1. Meanwhile, Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of more than 160 business groups including the Home Furnishings Association, has asked President Trump to delay new tariffs and increases scheduled for the rest of the

chests of drawers recalled
Doug Clark
CPSC testing triggers Kirkland’s recall for tip-over hazard

Two chests of drawers sold by Kirkland’s have been recalled because of safety concerns. “The recalled chests are unstable if they are not anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in death or injuries to children,” the Consumer Products Safety Commission said it a

Shipping containers
Doug Clark
Some furniture removed from new tariffs lists

Some home furnishings products made in China have been spared from additional tariffs, at least for now. The Office of U.S. Trade Representative announced Aug. 16 it will not add a 10 percent import tax to wooden- and metal-framed chairs, plastic chairs and furniture items for infants, including toddler beds, bassinets,

Child reaching for a toy on top of a dresser
Doug Clark
New York enacts Harper’s Law

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed Harper’s Law Tuesday. The measure bars retailers in that state from selling new clothing storage units that don’t meet standards for furniture stability unless they also offer tip-restraint kits. The law is named for Harper Ayva Fried of Monroe, N.Y., who died at age 3 in

Kansas Revenue Secretary Mark Burghart, left
Doug Clark
Kansas aims to tax all online sales

Kansas is one of a few states that still doesn’t require remote online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases made by its residents. Not that it doesn’t want to. The state legislature this year approved a measure to do just that. But it was included in a larger tax

The John Adams Courthouse
Doug Clark
Overtime ruling surprises Massachusetts retailers

A surprising court ruling in Massachusetts has forced some furniture retailers to change how they pay their sales staff. The Commonwealth’s Supreme Judicial Court decision in Sullivan v. Sleepy’s reversed a long-held understanding about overtime pay for sales employees who are paid by commission. Advisory letters issued by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards in

California bear flag
Doug Clark
AB 2998 deadline nears in California

A deadline is approaching in California. The state’s furniture retailers should clear their inventories of products covered by Assembly Bill 2998 before the law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. The law prohibits the sale and distribution of juvenile products, upholstered furniture, replacement components of reupholstered furniture and many mattresses if those products

Jeff Smith is general manager of Walker Furniture in Gainesville, Fla.
Home Furnishings Association
Walker Furniture, HFA appeal to Washington for ADA clarity

Jeff Smith asked his representatives in Washington for help, and the Home Furnishings Association is backing him up. Smith’s story was told in HFA’s July Government Relations newsletter. Smith, the general manager of HFA member Walker Furniture in Gainesville, Fla., received a demand letter from an attorney representing a client

Furniture bills gain committee OK

Photo: Rep. Cathy Rodgers (in red) Legislation important to the furniture industry took another big step today. Bills approved by the House Energy & Commerce Committee include measures intended to prevent tip-over accidents and to restrict the use of chemical flame-retardants in upholstered furniture. The Stop Tip-overs of Unsafe, Risky

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New York acts on tip-overs

Photo above: Erica and Aaron Fried (courtesy HarperSmiles) A tip-over tragedy inspired Harper’s Law in New York state, which places

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