States continue to jump on the telemarketing law bandwagon…
Georgia state senate recently unanimously approved Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Blake Tillery that would expand Georgia’s telemarketing laws aimed at tighten up the protections for those on Georgia’s “do not call” list. The bill would allow Georgians to hold entities liable for telemarketing calls made by third-party vendors as well as pursue class-action lawsuits against telemarketers. The bill bans “telephone solicitations” defined to exclude consented calls and calls made with an EBR – to residential numbers on the state’s DNC list.
Importantly, the bill amends Title 46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated to put third party liability on any entity contracting with companies to telemarketer on their behalf:
“(j) It shall not be a defense in any action or proceeding brought under subsection (h) or (i)of this Code section that the defendant has established and implemented, with due care, reasonable practices and procedures to effectively prevent telephone solicitations in violation of this Code section did not make the telephone solicitation or was not aware that such telephone solicitation was in violation of this Code section, if such telephone solicitation was made on behalf of the defendant as a result of a written or verbal agreement, contract, request, or employment relationship; provided, however, that it shall be a defense for consideration by the trier of fact if the defendant has with respect to the person or entity that made the telephone solicitation established policies and procedures to effectively prevent telephone solicitations in violation of this Code section and mandated and enforced compliance with such policies and procedures.”
The bill also allows Georgians to bring a class action – with damages up to $1,000 per call and seek attorney’s fees – against any entity that made the telephone solicitation and/or the entity that the telephone solicitation was made on behalf.
“But our ability to stop [telemarketers] pursuant to the Georgia Do Not Call Act has been limited because we’ve seen those companies go outside and reach to other groups to make the calls for them,” stated Tillery.
A similar bill passed unanimously in the state Senate last year but failed to get approval from the House of Representatives. The bill will now move to the House for consideration.
As state telemarketing laws continue to proliferate, it is important to not only understand the TCPA as it is to understand state laws in order to avoid suits on both a state and federal level.
We’re here for you, on both a state and federal level.