VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – On Wednesday, Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced that Home Depot Inc. has entered a stipulated judgment and agreed to pay $750,000 in penalties, fees, and restitution to settle a civil lawsuit alleging violations of the California Gift Card Law.

The California Gift Card Law (California Civil Code section 1749.5) requires retailers to give customers a refund for gift cards with a value less than $10 at the customer’s request.

The civil complaint against Home Depot Inc. was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of the District Attorney’s Offices of Ventura, Los Angeles, Sonoma, and Contra Costa counties and alleged Home Depot Inc. unlawfully denied California customers the right to cash out store gift cards as required by state law detailed the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office in a press release about the settlement.

“We vigorously enforce gift card redemption laws to protect and safeguard consumers,” said Ventura County District Attorney Nasarenko. “Large corporations should not profit from unfair business practices that leave store patrons without a full return on their investment.”

According to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, under the terms of the stipulated judgement, Home Depot Inc. will pay $640,000 in investigative costs and $50,000 in restitution to the California Consumer Protection Prosecution Trust Fund.

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office shares that the settlement also requires Home Depot Inc. to take the following steps:

  • Program cash-dispensing registers to automatically refund gift cards valued at less than $10 without prompting by the cashier
  • Include language on its physical gift cards that advises consumers of their rights under California Civil Code section 1749.5
  • Post notices relating to California Civil Code section 1749.5 in the Customer Service or returns area of Home Depot locations statewide
  • Train employees about gift card redemption under California Civil Code section 1749.5