NonProfits & Charities
Data Privacy and Security
Fundraising & Nonprofit Report
The Download: A Roundup of Privacy Issues
Are you making calls or texts on behalf of nonprofits or political organizations to solicit donations or get out the vote? Do you need to contact your customers for promotions or status updates on their orders? Do you generate or sell insurance leads to third parties? Does your company need to ensure it isn’t a target for lawsuits based on its calling practices? If so, we can help.
For more than 25 years, our firm has been a leader in compliance with federal and state telemarketing laws including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). We can advise you on how to implement a compliant telemarketing campaign by advising on applicable state and federal telemarketing laws and best practices.
We frequently prepare “soup to nuts” opinion letters describing these laws as applicable to your calling or texting campaigns including “do-not-call” lists, curfew restrictions, required disclosures, caller ID, call abandonment, prerecorded and automated calls, recordkeeping, state registrations, and other compliance issues. We also complete state telemarketing registrations, either on a per-state basis or on a monthly retainer for nationwide clients.
And if your company receives a demand letter, subpoena, complaint, or even a class action lawsuit alleging violations of federal or state telemarketing laws, we can defend and litigate the matter for you. We have an experienced litigation defense team and have served as class action defense counsel in 50+ nationwide class actions and hundreds of individual actions. We have also defended hundreds of investigations from state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission.
In 2020, partners William Raney and Kellie Mitchell Bubeck appeared on brief before the Supreme Court representing political organizations in a constitutional challenge to the TCPA in Barr v. Am. Ass’n of Political Consultants, 140 S. Ct. 2335 (2020). The Supreme Court agreed with our clients and ruled the TCPA’s debt-collection exemption violated the First Amendment.
Compliance means working at two levels: state and federal. Even if you are working in only one state, you need to be mindful of both state and federal regulations governing telemarketing.
First, you register or determine an applicable exemption. You cannot pick up the phone without the proper registrations or exemptions in place.
More than half of all states require that a business obtain a license or “register” before calling into or receiving calls from the state with commercial telephone solicitations. Registration generally requires paying a fee and sometimes posting a bond. Although many of these registration statutes have numerous exemptions, you need to review these registration statutes prior to making telephone sales to ensure compliance. The rules can apply both to an entity making a call and to the entity causing the call to be made, for example, the seller.
We are the largest provider of registration services in the country. With our service, you will make the deadlines for filing, pay the correct fees, and have follow up and support for special circumstances and questions, including exemptions. If you do not know the right questions to ask, the omission could be costly.
We can review your calling and/texting campaigns to determine where you are required to register and where you are exempt. We can prepare an opinion letter for internal use to affect these registrations and for external use to show due diligence to your business partners.
Once you are registered, you must stay current. Falling behind in filings or fees could cost you in a complaint – or worse, a lawsuit or suspension of rights to operate.
As telemarketing lawyers, we assist our clients in meeting ongoing regulatory compliance requirements, including curfews, DNC lists, scripting, registration and specific disclosure or contract requirements.
Our services are available on a per-state basis or as a monthly retainer for nationwide clients. You hear from us when you need to, because we track the changes in legislation with your business in mind.
We can assist you with all necessary registration paperwork and related filings, including disclosures and contracts. We regularly maintain information on Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communication Commission telemarketing rules.
Telemarketing is heavily regulated, and it can be costly and time-consuming to keep up. You risk a great deal if you do not show due diligence – to the regulators and your potential clients. We can help on both fronts.
Our opinion letters, registration services and counsel can be used to show your clients “due diligence,” clearing the hurdles for their legal department to approve projects and campaigns. Your potential public client will not do business with a service bureau whose activities may put the client at risk.
An opinion letter verifying compliance is a critical credential to existing and prospective clients. It is much more common for a client to require a demonstration of compliance with “do-not-call” lists, registrations, and behavioral restrictions than any government regulators. We can often help with this demonstration and answer specific questions from your clients’ legal teams.
While you have your clients’ concerns to address, you still have to work with the state and federal regulators whose rules may compare similarly to those governing your clients, but whose agenda and timeframe may be more stringent. By reviewing the type of calling you do, your fulfillment packages, your licenses and historical calling patterns, we can advise you, keep you up to date on all applicable legislation, and update you regularly – before you hear from regulators.
Your clients will scrutinize your success as a telemarketing firm. The federal and local regulators will scrutinize your success in adhering to the law. If you come up short in either case, it is your own business reputation on the line when you do not ensure compliance.
Whether you are a seller or an outsourced provider, you need to be precise about your telemarketing scripts, their disclosures, your calling, and any applicable exemptions. Your operations are bound by restrictions whether you work for another company on a campaign or have your own in-house callers.
We can help train your staff, evaluating their work and interactions on calls, texts, and chats. You should look at every dimension of your business including your staff training documents, manuals, and call center management objectives. We help deal with those details because tending to the details can make all the difference in a license granted, an exemption allowed, or a complaint closed. If you receive a complaint or get sued, we can help with that too.
If you are concerned about the new privacy laws, you need to know we have reviewed state and federal privacy rules, including use of data, storage of data, sale of data, and notification requirements in the event of a breach of security.
Although the Federal Trade Commission does not usually have specific rules for telemarketing privacy, it often will use its general power to prohibit unfair trade practices to enforce penalties when a breach occurs. We can advise you on standards to protect you from such actions.
We are also knowledgeable about other privacy regulations such as HIPAA (which regulates disclosure of protected health information by healthcare providers) and Gramm-Leach-Bliley (which regulates the disclosure of financial information by financial institutions).
Our clients hire us to advise them regarding state and federal rules regarding treatment of sensitive consumer information when conducting telemarketing campaigns. These restrictions include security standards, disposal standards and how such information can be used or shared with third parties.
Fill out our Telemarketing contact form for more information on how Copilevitz, Lam & Raney can support your entire operation.
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