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02 Mar

February 2020 New York HR Legal Updates

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Stores to Accept Cash Requirement

What happened?
The legislation aims to eliminate what supporters say is discrimination against low-income New Yorkers who lack bank accounts and credit cards.  Many businesses, on the other hand, cited a variety of reasons for opposing the legislation, including a desire to appeal to card-toting consumers, speed up service, increase employee safety by reducing the chance of robbery, and eliminate the need to count cash or arrange for armored car pickups.  The new law will take effect 270 days after Mayor de Blasio—who has expressed support for the bill—signs it into law. 

What are the details?
Prohibition of Cashless Policies.  The legislation amends Chapter 20 of the New York City Administrative Code (titled, “Consumer Affairs”) by adding a new Subchapter 21 that prohibits most businesses from refusing to accept payment in cash.

Covered Establishments.  The legislation applies to all “food stores” and “retail establishments.” 

Exceptions.  The legislation contains certain exceptions and carve-outs. 

What do employers need to do?

  • First, covered food stores or retail establishments may refuse to accept payment in cash bills denominated over $20, or 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. 
  • Second, the legislation specifically states that “banks or trust companies,” as defined in Section 2 of Article 1 of the New York State Banking Law, are not “retail establishments” covered under the law. 
  • Third, the cashless prohibition does not apply to food stores and retail establishments that provide a device on premises that converts cash, without charging a fee or requiring a minimum deposit amount greater than $1.00, into a prepaid card that allows the consumer to complete a transaction at the store.