Adopted Rules re Prohibition on Cashless Establishments

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Agency:
Keywords:

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Rule

 

The Department is adding new rules to implement LL 34 of 2020, which prohibits food stores and retail establishments from refusing to accept payment in cash and further prohibits food stores and retail establishments from charging a higher price to consumers who pay for commodities with cash, rather than through a cashless transaction. The intent of LL 34 is to ensure that all New Yorkers, including those who are unbanked or underbanked, can make retail and food purchases using cash.

 

Specifically, these new rules add presumptions that a food store or retail establishment is in violation of the prohibition on cashless establishments if it displays a sign representing that it does not accept payment in cash from consumers, or if an employee or agent of such food store or retail establishment represents that it does not accept cash.  These new rules also add presumptions that a food store or retail establishment is in violation of the prohibition on cashless establishments if it displays a sign representing that it charges a higher price for consumers who pay with cash rather than through a cashless transaction, or if any employee or agent of such food store or retail establishment represents that it charges a higher price to consumers who pay for commodities in cash.  A business charged with violations can rebut these presumptions by presenting contrary evidence at a hearing.

 

These presumptions are necessary to allow the Department to effectively enforce the cashless establishments law.  Without these presumptions, the Department would be required to conduct test purchases of commodities using cash to establish whether food stores or retail establishments are refusing to accept cash.  Such test purchases are too costly and inefficient to perform. 

 

These rules also add a penalty schedule for the new prohibitions on cashless establishments.  The penalties are provided by section 20-840(d) of the New York City Administrative Code. 

 

New material is underlined.

[Deleted material is in brackets.]

 

“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.