The call of sand and surf, long distance traveling, buying kids shoes and other distractions may have
pulled you away over the past 30 days from reading the small-scale but important news. Here are a few
things you might have missed:
The CPSC once again launched its war on small magnets. This may not be a new fight, but it is a heated
up old fight that still has a lot of steam. CPSC started actions against Zen magnets and another form of
round magnets which will likely go on for a substantial period of time. The CPSC's main argument on the
safety of these products is that they will get inside the child's intestinal wall. The child may swallow at
least 2 of the magnets which then wreaks havoc with the digestive tract. Because the small magnets are
very powerful, they can end up on both sides of a piece of small intestine and then crushed that small
intestine lining and make it nonfunctional. There can be blockages infections and outright failures of the
swallower's intestine as a result. The battle with Zen is that Zen maintains that these products were
never to be in the hands of children. There are always sold as an adult toy and they were supposed be
kept out of the reach of children. It does not seem to be any middle ground between CPSC and Zen. The
fact that the new and more Democratically aligned CPSC Board has picked up this fight is an indication
that they will be more difficult with people that have given them a hard time in the past rather than
more understanding or at least more balanced. Look for this fight to continue and probably introduced
some unfortunate language into the battle. Other products will suffer because of this fight, but it is clear
that the CPSC is not letting go.
Speaking of not letting go: the CPSC has once again focused its attention on warnings and instructions
that are either incomplete or difficult to follow. It seems that if you decide to instruct the person in how
to assemble or set up a product, that makes you fair game if the product instructions are not clear.
We've seen some examples of this in the past month. The CPSC will continue to hold up and critique
language to the standard in the use of instructions which may mislead the consumer.
The State of New York has extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures to and including
January 15, 2022. While this was not a surprise, the new NY governor, Kathy Hochul, pushed this
through quickly. Since she stepped forward to replace the resigning Andrew Cuomo, this was tops on
her list. Even though the state has been given a couple billion dollars to pay landlords and tenants, it has
not succeeded in doing so. Hard to understand but hopefully it will get straightened out.
The State of New York is also reinstituting the use of face-masks indoors. As more Covid 19 cases of appear,
the likelihood that lawyers virtually appearing in court or at least with face-masks on is clearly there.
NY State has also modified its Open Meeting Law, again, to allow for virtual participation in public
meetings of all kinds. This was entered in the vast week and has good at least into 2022. Virtual
meetings had only been banned for about a month before the increase in Covid infections and deaths
came knocking. We are anticipating further restrictions on public meetings over the next few weeks.
Large gifts to public universities and towards public health causes are increasing. The latest example
being the $175 million to UMASS medical center in Worcester by the Chang family. The pandemic is
certainly encouraging this generosity.
Adding employee(s), adding part time and full time? Be sure to consult your state requirements. Many
require sexual harassment training for you - your supervisors AND YOUR EMPLOYEES! Don't get caught
short, schedule trainings NOW!