It is official: effective July 1, 2021, Florida is set to amend its existing telemarketing laws to add significant teeth, via SB 1120. The statutory amendments of SB 1120 greatly expand liability for marketing calls and text messages.
Note, the recent positive developments gained by way of the Facebook v. Duguid case regarding the TCPA’s definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” may have no impact on this new Florida law. Companies should thus exercise extreme caution when making any changes to their outbound communications processes as a result of the Facebook decision. Myriad state laws will impact the ability of companies to communicate with consumers. In addition to Florida, other states like Washington, for example, also regulate certain telephonic communications with potentially different reach than the TCPA.
Florida’s amendments alter two existing statutes governing telemarketing communications. Florida law, for example, already included “autodialer” terminology different from the TCPA. However, the addition of a private right of action and prior express written consent requirements add sizeable teeth to the existing statutory provisions.
Key Features of Florida’s Amendments:
It is important for businesses to be prepared for the revised law to go into effect on July 1, 2021, as Gov. DeSantis recently signed this bill into law. Businesses should have appropriate express written consent to contact numbers with Florida area codes when placing telephonic sales calls or texts.
Benesch attorneys have predicted that states may amend their own telemarketing laws, particularly after the Supreme Court’s Facebook decision. It remains to be seen whether other states may enact similar legislation, but Florida’s legislation underscores the importance of following the best practices of consent when calling customers, in spite of recent changes to federal law.