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File #: Int 1281-2018    Version: Name: Prohibiting food stores and retail establishments from refusing to accept payment in cash.
Type: Introduction Status: Committee
Committee: Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing
On agenda: 11/28/2018
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to prohibiting food stores and retail establishments from refusing to accept payment in cash
Sponsors: Ritchie J. Torres, Rafael L. Espinal, Jr., Keith Powers , Chaim M. Deutsch, Laurie A. Cumbo, Brad S. Lander, Justin L. Brannan, Daniel Dromm , Antonio Reynoso, Carlina Rivera , Costa G. Constantinides, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine, Diana Ayala , Helen K. Rosenthal, Francisco P. Moya, Deborah L. Rose, Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Karen Koslowitz, Rory I. Lancman, Stephen T. Levin, Andrew Cohen, Margaret S. Chin, Paul A. Vallone, The Public Advocate (Mr. Williams)
Summary: This bill prohibits food and retail establishments from refusing to accept cash from consumers. It also prohibits establishments from charging cash-paying consumers a higher price than cash-less consumers. The bill provides for penalties of not more than $1000 for a first violation, and of not more than $1500 for each succeeding violation. There are some modifications and exceptions in the bill. Food and retail establishments do not have to accept bills in denominations of greater than $20. Transactions taking place completely online, by phone or mail are excluded. Food and retail establishments that have devices that convert cash into prepaid cards on their premises are considered to accept cash only if several requirements are met. Such devices cannot charge a fee or require a minimum deposit over one dollar. There can be no limit on the number of transactions on such cards. The funds on the card cannot expire. Where a device malfunctions, an establishment must accept cash, and shall have a sign stating such on or immediately adjacent to the cash-conversion device. Chain stores (five stores or more) or establishments greater than 10,000 square feet in size that choose to have a cash-conversion device on their premises shall provide prepaid cards that are usable at any place that accepts debit cards. The bill gives rulemaking authority to the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.
Attachments: 1. Summary of Int. No. 1281-A, 2. Summary of Int. No. 1281, 3. Int. No. 1281, 4. November 28, 2018 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 5. Committee Report 2/14/19, 6. Hearing Testimony 2/14/19, 7. Hearing Transcript 2/14/19, 8. Proposed Int. No. 1281-A - 8/2/19, 9. Committee Report 7/22/19, 10. Committee Report 7/22/19, 11. July 23, 2019 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 12. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 7-23-19, 13. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - July 23, 2019, 14. August 14, 2019 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 15. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 8-14-19, 16. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - August 14, 2019, 17. September 12, 2019 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 18. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 9-12-19, 19. Proposed Int. No. 1281-A - 12/2/19, 20. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - September 12, 2019
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
9/12/2019ARitchie J. Torres City Council Recommit to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
8/14/2019ARitchie J. Torres City Council Laid Over by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/23/2019ARitchie J. Torres City Council Laid Over by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/22/2019*Ritchie J. Torres Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/22/2019*Ritchie J. Torres Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Amendment Proposed by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/22/2019*Ritchie J. Torres Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Amended by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
7/22/2019ARitchie J. Torres Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
2/14/2019*Ritchie J. Torres Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
2/14/2019*Ritchie J. Torres Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
11/28/2018*Ritchie J. Torres City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
11/28/2018*Ritchie J. Torres City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Proposed Int. No. 1281-A

 

By Council Members Torres, Espinal, Powers, Deutsch, Cumbo, Lander, Brannan, Dromm, Reynoso, Rivera, Constantinides, Kallos, Levine, Ayala, Rosenthal, Moya, Rose, Cornegy, Koslowitz, Lancman, Levin, Cohen, Chin, Vallone and the Public Advocate (Mr. Williams)

 

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to prohibiting food stores and retail establishments from refusing to accept payment in cash

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

 

Section 1. Chapter 5 of title 20 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new subchapter 21 to read as follows:

SUBCHAPTER 21

CASHLESS ESTABLISHMENTS PROHIBITED

§ 20-840 Cashless establishments prohibited. a. Definitions. For purposes of this subchapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

Cash. The term “cash” means United States coins and currency, including federal reserve notes. Cash does not include foreign currency; any paper instrument other than a federal reserve note, including, but not limited to, any check, bond, or promissory note; or any foreign metal coin.

Chain of stores. The term “chain of stores” means five or more stores located within the city of New York that are engaged in the same general field of business and conduct business under the same business name or operate under common ownership or management or pursuant to a franchise agreement with the same franchisor.

Consumer commodity.  The term “consumer commodity” means any article, good, merchandise, product or commodity of any kind or class produced, distributed or offered for retail sale for consumption by individuals, or for personal, household or family purposes.

Food store. The term “food store” means 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 establishment. The term “retail establishment” means 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.

b. It shall be unlawful for a food store or a retail establishment to refuse to accept payment in cash from consumers, provided that such food store or retail establishment may refuse to accept payment:

1. In cash bills denominated above $20; or 

2. In cash for any telephone, mail, or internet-based transaction, unless the payment for such transaction takes place on the premises of such food store or retail establishment.

c. No food store or retail establishment shall charge a higher price for the same consumer commodity to a consumer who pays in cash than to a consumer who pays for such commodity through a cash-less transaction.

d. A food store or retail establishment that violates this section is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $1000 for the first violation and a civil penalty of not more than $1500 for each subsequent violation.

e. 1. This subchapter shall not apply to a food store or retail establishment that provides a device on premises that converts cash, without charging a fee or requiring a minimum deposit amount greater than one dollar, into a prepaid card.

2. Upon request, such device shall provide each consumer with a receipt indicating the amount of cash such consumer deposited onto the prepaid card.

3. Cash deposits onto such a prepaid card shall not be subject to an expiration date and there shall be no limit on the number of transactions that may be completed on such prepaid card.

4. In the event that such device malfunctions, the food store or retail establishment where such device is located shall accept payment in cash from consumers throughout the time period in which such device does not function in accordance with the standards set forth in this subchapter. Such food store or retail establishment shall place a conspicuous sign on or immediately adjacent to such device indicating that such food store or retail establishment is required by law to accept cash if such device malfunctions, and that consumers may report any violation to 311. The department may establish by rule additional requirements relating to such signs and the display of such signs.

5. Food stores or retail establishments that are 10,000 square feet or larger or that are part of a chain of stores and that offer prepaid cards pursuant to this subdivision shall only offer prepaid cards that are usable at any food store or retail establishment where debit cards are accepted.

§ 2. This local law takes effect 180 days after it becomes law, except that the department of consumer affairs may take such measures as are necessary for the implementation of this local law, including the promulgation of rules, before such date.

 

 

DFC/BAM

LS #5240

10/22/2019