December 5, 2021

Volume XI, Number 339

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December 03, 2021

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December 02, 2021

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New York City Bans Retailers From Refusing to Accept Cash

New York City has amended its Administrative Code to make it unlawful for food stores and other retail establishments to refuse to accept payments in cash.

Food stores are defined as “an establishment which gives or offers for sale food or beverages to the public for consumption or use on or off the premises, or on or off a pushcart, stand or vehicle.”

Retail establishments are defined as “an establishment wherein consumer commodities are sold, displayed or offered for sale, or where services are provided to consumers at retail. This definition does not include banks or trust companies as those terms are defined in section 2 of article 1 of the banking law.”

The new law undoubtedly reflects a transition in recent years from cash purchases to those made electronically, first by credit cards and now, with COVID-19 concerns, touchless. While large retailers have continually adopted and championed new technology for purchases, many small retailers still retained a focus on cash purchases. Small retailers may have even been reluctant to adopt new technology out of cost considerations. But, with the pandemic, countless smaller retailers have had the opportunity (and perhaps pressure from their customers) to move toward electronic or virtual transactions.

While car drivers may see signs at many gas stations where cash payments are lawfully favored, the new law is designed to make sure that a cash-paying customer does not confront any additional cost for paper dollars (or coins). Penalties for violations are up to $1,000 for a first violation and no more than $1,500 for subsequent violations.

In these ever-changing times, cash may no longer be king, but it cannot be treated as a second-class or more expensive mode of payment either.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume X, Number 336
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About this Author

Richard D. Landau Principal New York Metro Labor and Preventive Practices Workplace Training
Principal

Richard D. Landau is a Principal in the White Plains and Albany, New York, offices of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has represented employers in all aspects of labor law and has extensive experience providing employers with strategic advice related to union organizing, negotiations, handling arbitrations and in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

He has negotiated hundreds of collective bargaining agreements in dozens of industries including complex contracts covering over 1,500 employees, and handled over 100 arbitrations running the full gamut of...

914-872-6886
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