California “Yelp Bill”

Yelp: California’s “Yelp Bill” is Assembly Bill (AB) 2365, and was signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown on September 10.

From time to time we hear about businesses that are so afraid of what their customers might say about them that they sneak clauses into consumer contracts designed to forbid their customers from saying anything bad about them on sites like Yelp. Some of these contracts even threaten fines or legal action. These types of non-disparagement contracts not only seek to intimidate potential reviewers away from sharing their honest experiences online, but also threaten to deprive the public of useful consumer information.

AB 2365 makes non-disparagement clauses void and unenforceable in California. Take that crappy businesses. You are free to post negative reviews on Yelp, and now businesses cannot fine or sue you, but just make sure your reviews are legit.