The Unfair Competition Law

- empowering consumers with the means to get their money back

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Under the UCL, you must prove: 1) there is a business practice that is either unfair, unlawful, or fraudulent; and 2) that you suffered injury.

unlawful practices include:

  • Violation of California Labor Code rules as to non-California residents sent to California for a certain amount of time can be the basis of a UCL claim. See Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., 51 Cal. 4th 1191 (2011).
  • Failure to provide notice of the right to select a repair shop in violation of California Insurance Code section 758.5 can be the basis for a UCL claim. See Hughes v. Progressive Direct Ins. Co., 196 Cal. App. 4th 754 (2011) (review granted).
  • Non-compete agreements violate California law and can be the basis for a UCL claim. See Dowell v. Biosense Webster, Inc., 179 Cal. App. 4th 564 (2009).

injury includes:

  • Products represented as "made in the USA" when some or component parts were not made in the USA. Consumers lost money because they bought a product that they thought was made in the USA but wasn't. See Kwikset Corp. v. Super. Ct., 51 Cal.4th 310, 325 (2011).
  • Wages earned but unpaid constitute injury in fact. See Pineda v. Bank of America, N.A., 50 Cal.4th 1389 (2010).

remedies include:

  • restitution - recovering what was lost.
  • injunctive relief - an order to prevent future unfair, unlawful, or fraudulent acts.
  • attorney fees - recoverable under the California Private Attorney General Act. See Walker v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 98 Cal. App. 4th 1158, 1179 (2002).