Signs & the Consumer Fraud Act 

By Carolyne S. Kalson, Esq.


Recently, a local furniture store was closing and conducted a “going out of business sale” for months as evidenced by the human billboards all over town.  I drove by observing these workers in the rain, cold and inclement weather.  As a labor lawyer I could not help but wonder who would want these jobs, whether they were being paid in accordance with minimum wage laws, and covered by worker’s compensation in the event they were hit by a car.

I also wondered if this new job title was in response to recent ordinances or laws prohibiting signs on buildings or telephone poles. Additionally, I was concerned whether the “sale” was legitimate and not a marketing plan.

As a business owner and consumer, you should know that these sales are governed by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  N.J.S.A. 56:8-2.8 provides:

It shall be unlawful practice for any person to advertise for sale as a “going out of business sale” or in terms substantially similar to “going out of business sale” for a period in excess of 90 days or to advertise more than one such sale in 360 days.  The 360-day period shall commence on the first day of such sale.  For any person in violation of this act, each day in violation shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct violation.