If you bought products from Jessica Alba’s business, The Honest Company, you may be able to score a little cash. That’s because Honest Company has just agreed to pay $1.55 million in order to settle a nationwide class-action lawsuit that claimed the company misled customers about not-so-honest ingredients in laundry detergent, dish soap and multipurpose cleaner.
Honest Company claimed in advertisements that its laundry detergent did not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a common cleaning product. The company purported to use the less abrasive sodium coco sulfate instead, but a March 2016 Wall Street Journal investigation found that sodium lauryl sulfate is a component of sodium coco sulfate. Translation: The company wasn’t exactly living up to its “honest” name.
“More than a dozen scientists interviewed by the Journal said SCS, which is made from palm or coconut oil, is a mixture of various cleaning agents that includes a significant amount of SLS,” the WSJ reported.
As part of the settlement, Honest Company has promised to reformulate the cleaning products in question to exclude both chemicals. And if you bought any of them, you can apply for a refund. If you don’t have a receipt, you can receive up to $50, but if you have documentation, you can even file for more, according to court documents.
“We vigorously deny any and all allegations alleged in the lawsuit—specifically that any of our cleaning products contain SLS,” spokeswoman Karen Richman said in a statement. “However, given the fact that continued litigation could be protracted and expensive, we have settled this lawsuit to limit further costs and distraction to our business.”
The settlement still needs to be approved by a judge before anyone can receive payment, so you’ll have to keep a close eye on the news if you purchased any of the products in question, like the detergent featured here in one of the brand’s “home essentials” bundles.
Beyond this latest snafu, Honest Company is not unfamiliar with controversy about its products. In May of this year, their baby wipes were recalled due to mold contamination. On top of that, they were sued by the Organic Consumers Association in April of 2016 on the grounds that the Honest Company baby formula contains non-organic ingredients. And before that, a customer sued the company in September of 2015, claiming its sunscreen doesn’t work and isn’t really “natural.”
While the baby formula case was already dismissed by a judge, the claims against the company’s sunscreen are still being litigated. For now, just be sure to hang onto receipts if you purchased any of these products.