Title 20: Consumer Affairs

Chapter 1: License Enforcement

§ 20-101 Legislative intent.

The council finds that for the protection and relief of the public from deceptive, unfair and unconscionable practices, for the maintenance of standards of integrity, honesty and fair dealing among persons and organizations engaging in licensed activities, for the protection of the health and safety of the people of New York city and for other purposes requisite to promoting the general welfare, licensing by the department of consumer affairs is a necessary and proper mode of regulation with respect to certain trades, businesses and industries. The council finds further that, in order to secure the above-mentioned purposes, and generally to carry out responsibilities for supervising and regulating licensed activities, trades, businesses and industries, the commissioner of consumer affairs requires powers, remedies and sanctions which are equitable, flexible and efficient. Finally, the council finds that sanctions and penalties applied by the commissioner and by the courts for the violation of laws and regulations by individuals and organizations engaging in various licensed activities, trades, businesses and industries, must be sufficient to achieve these above-mentioned purposes of licensing.

§ 20-102 Definitions.

Wherever used in this title:

  1. “Commissioner” shall mean the commissioner of consumer affairs.
  2. “Department” shall mean the department of consumer affairs.
  3. “License” shall mean an authorization by the department of consumer affairs to carry on various activities within its jurisdiction, which may take the form of a license, permit, registration, certification or such other form as is designated under law, regulation or rule.
  4. “Organization” shall mean a business entity, including but not limited to a corporation, trust, estate, partnership, cooperative, association, firm, club or society.
  5. “Person” shall mean a natural person or an organization.
  6. “Trade name” shall mean that name under which an organization or person solicits, engages in, conducts or transacts a business or activity.

§ 20-103 Construction of this chapter and chapter two of this title.

The provisions of this chapter and chapter two of this title shall be liberally construed in accordance with the legislative declaration of the city council set forth in section 20-101.

§ 20-104 Powers of the commissioner with respect to licensing.

  1. The commissioner shall have cognizance and control of the granting, issuance, transferring, renewal, denial, revocation, suspension and cancellation of all licenses issued under chapter two and under all other laws conferring such powers upon him or her. The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee shall collect all fees for all such licenses and permits and shall otherwise enforce the provisions of chapter two.
  2. The commissioner shall, as he or she determines necessary and appropriate, promulgate, amend and rescind regulations and rules:

   1. to carry out the powers and duties of the department;

   2. to prevent and remedy fraud, misrepresentation, deceit and unconscionable dealing, and to promote fair trade practices by those engaging in licensed activities;

   3. to require adequate disclosure by those engaging in licensed activities of both the terms and conditions under which they perform licensed activities, adequate disclosure of the true names or true corporate names of licensees, and adequate disclosure of applicable local, state and federal law pertinent to consumers’ interests regarding the conduct of activities licensed under chapter two;

   4. to require that licensees keep such records as he or she may determine are necessary or useful for carrying out the purposes of chapter two and, except as specifically set forth in chapter two, retain them for three years;

   5. to ensure that all persons and organizations licensed under this title have made appropriate financial disclosure, and that the premises complies with all legal requirements necessary to engage in the licensed activity;

   6. with respect to licensed activities, to protect the health, safety, convenience and welfare of the general public; and

   7. to ensure that those engaging in licensed activities do not discriminate against any person on the basis of age, sex, race, color, national origin, creed or religion in violation of city, state or federal laws.

  1. The commissioner shall compile all regulations and rules promulgated by the department and maintain a copy thereof, available for public inspection at his or her principal office at such times as that office shall be open for business. A record of each license issued indicating its kind and class, the license number, the fee received therefor and such other records as the commissioner may require shall be kept by the department.
  2. The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee shall be authorized to conduct investigations, to issue subpoenas, to receive evidence, to hear complaints regarding activities for which a license is or may be required, to take depositions on due notice, to serve interrogatories, to hold public and private hearings upon due notice, to take testimony and to promulgate, amend and modify procedures and practices governing such proceedings.
    1. The commissioner shall be authorized, upon due notice and hearing, to suspend, revoke or cancel any license issued by him or her in accordance with the provisions of chapter two and to impose or institute fines or civil penalties for the violation of (i) any of the provisions of chapter two of this title and regulations and rules promulgated under chapter two of this title and (ii) any of the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation, the enforcement of which is within the jurisdiction of the department including but not limited to subchapter one of chapter five of this title (the consumer protection law) subchapter two of chapter five (the truth in-pricing-law); provided that such violation is committed in the course of and is related to the conduct of the business, trade or occupation which is required to be licensed pursuant to chapter two of this title. Except to the extent that dollar limits are otherwise specifically provided such fines or civil penalties shall not exceed five hundred dollars for each violation.

   (2) The commissioner may arrange for the redress of injuries caused by such violations, and may otherwise provide for compliance with the provisions and purposes of chapter two of this title.

   (3) The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee shall be authorized to suspend the license of any person pending payment of such fine or civil penalty or pending compliance with any other lawful order of the department.

   (4) The commissioner shall be authorized to impose a fine or civil penalty or to suspend a license or both for a failure to appear at a hearing at the department after due notice of such hearing. If a license has been suspended, it shall be returned to the department forthwith upon receipt of the order of suspension. Failure to surrender the license shall be grounds for a fine or civil penalty or revocation of the license.

   (5) Any of the remedies provided for in this section shall be in addition to any other remedies provided under any other provision of law.

  1. The commissioner, upon due notice and hearing, may require that persons licensed under chapter two of this title who have committed repeated, multiple or persistent violations of chapter two or any other law, rule or regulation the enforcement of which is within the jurisdiction of the department, conspicuously display at their place of business and in advertisements a notice (of a form, content and size to be specified by the commissioner), which shall describe the person’s record of such violations; provided that, for each time such display is required, the commissioner may require that such notice be displayed for not less than ten nor more than one hundred days.
  2. The commissioner may refuse to issue or renew any license issued in accordance with the provisions of chapter two of this title and may suspend or revoke any such license, after due notice and opportunity to be heard, upon the occurrence of any one or more of the following conditions:

   1. Two or more judgments within a two-year period against the applicant or licensee for theft of identity as defined in section three hundred eighty-s of the general business law; or

   2. One criminal conviction against the applicant or licensee for acts of identity theft or unlawful possession of personal identification information as defined in article one hundred ninety of the penal law; or

   3. Two or more criminal convictions within a two-year period of any employees or associates of the applicant or licensee for acts of identity theft or unlawful possession of personal identification information as defined in article one hundred ninety of the penal law that are committed with the use of the applicant’s or licensee’s equipment, data, technology, or other similar resource. It shall be an affirmative defense that a applicant or licensee did not have reasonable grounds to believe the proscribed acts were taking place with the use of the licensee’s equipment, data, technology, or other similar resource or that the proscribed acts were not taking place with the use of the applicant’s or licensee’s equipment, data, technology, or other similar resource.

§ 20-105 Additional powers of the commissioner with respect to unlicensed activities.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person required to be licensed pursuant to the provisions of chapter two or pursuant to provisions of state law enforced by the department to engage in any trade, business or activity for which a license is required without such license.
  2. In addition to the enforcement procedures set forth in section 20-106 of this chapter, the commissioner after notice and a hearing shall be authorized:

   1. to impose fines upon any person in violation of subdivision a of this section of one hundred dollars per violation per day for each and every day during which such person violates such subdivision.

   2. to order any person in violation of subdivision a of this section immediately to discontinue such activity at the premises on which such activity is occurring.

   3. to order that such premises on which such activity is occurring be sealed, provided that such premises are primarily used for such activity.

   4. to order that any devices, items or goods sold, offered for sale available for public use or utilized in the operation of a business and relating to such activity for which a license is required but has not been obtained pursuant to the provisions of chapter two shall be removed, sealed or otherwise made inoperable.

  1. Orders of the commissioner issued pursuant to this subdivision shall be posted at the premises on which unlicensed activity occurs in violation of this section.
  2. Orders of the commissioner issued pursuant to paragraph two, three or four of subdivision b of this section shall be stayed with respect to any person who, prior to service of the notice provided in subdivision b of this section, had submitted a full and complete application in proper form and accompanied by the requisite fee for a license or the renewal of a license while such application is pending.
  3. Ten days after the posting of an order issued pursuant to paragraph two, three or four of subdivision b of this section and upon the written directive of the commissioner, officers and employees of the department and officers of the New York city police department are authorized to act upon and enforce such orders.
  4. Any devices, items or goods removed pursuant to the provisions of subdivision b of this section shall be stored in a garage, pound or other place of safety and the owner or other person lawfully entitled to the possession of such devices, items, or goods may be charged with reasonable costs for removal and storage payable prior to the release of such devices, items or goods to such owner or such other person.
  5. The commissioner shall order that any premises which are sealed pursuant to this section shall be unsealed and that any devices, items or goods removed, sealed or otherwise made inoperable pursuant to this section shall be released, unsealed or made operable upon:

   1. payment of all outstanding fines and all reasonable costs for removal and storage, and

   2. presentation of proof that a license has been obtained for such activity or, if such person or premises are for any reason ineligible to obtain a license, proof satisfactory to the commissioner that such premises, devices, items or goods will not be used in violation of this section.

  1. It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to remove the seal on any premises or remove the seal or make operable any devices, items or goods sealed or otherwise made inoperable in accordance with an order of the commissioner.
  2. The owner or other person lawfully entitled to reclaim the devices, items or goods removed pursuant to this section shall reclaim such devices, items or goods. If such owner or such other person does not reclaim such devices, items or goods within ninety days of their removal, such devices, items or goods shall be subject to forfeiture upon notice and judicial determination in accordance with provisions of law. Upon forfeiture the department shall, upon a public notice of at least five days, sell such forfeited devices, items or goods at public sale. The net proceeds of such sale, after deduction of the lawful expenses incurred, shall be paid into the general fund of the city.
  3. In the event that any removal made pursuant to this section shall include any perishable items, goods or food products which cannot be retained in custody without such items, goods or food products becoming unwholesome, putrid, decomposed or unfit in any way, they may be delivered to the commissioner of health for disposition pursuant to the provisions of section 17-323 of this code.
  4. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to apply to general vendors required to be licensed pursuant to subchapter twenty-seven of chapter two of this title.

§ 20-106 Judicial enforcement.

  1. Except as otherwise specifically provided in chapter two of this title, or in subdivision b of this section, any person, whether or not he or she holds a license issued under chapter two, who violates any provision of chapter two or any regulation or rule promulgated under it shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished for each violation by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding fifteen days, or both; and any such person shall be subject also to a civil penalty in the sum of one hundred dollars for each violation, to be recovered in a civil action.
  2. Any person who engages without a license therefor in an activity for which a license is required by any provision of chapter two, shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the following sanctions:

   1. If he or she has never held a license for such activity, he or she shall be subject to a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars, nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding fifteen days, or both; and any such person shall be subject also to the payment of a civil penalty in the sum of the greater of twice the applicable license fee or one hundred dollars, to be recovered in a civil action.

   2. If he or she has never held a license for such activity, and has been convicted once previously for engaging in such activity without a license, or if he or she has held such license and his or her license has lapsed prior to such person’s perfecting an application for a renewal, he or she shall be subject to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or both; and he or she shall be subject also to civil penalty in the sum of one thousand dollars, to be recovered in a civil action.

   3. If such person has held such a license, but his or her license has been suspended or revoked, or he or she has twice previously been convicted of engaging in such activity without a license, he or she shall be subject to a fine of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding sixty days, or both; and he or she shall be subject also to a civil penalty in the sum of two thousand dollars, to be recovered in a civil action.

  1. Every manager or proprietor of a business required to be licensed under chapter two who consents to, causes or allows that business to operate without a license and every person aiding such unlicensed business and every owner or lessee of any building, part of building, grounds, room or place, who leases or lets the premises for the operation of any unlicensed business or assents that the premises be used for any such purpose, is in violation of this title and shall be subject to a penalty of one hundred dollars per day for every day during which the unlicensed business operates. This penalty shall be prosecuted, sued for and recovered in the name of the city.
  2. The corporation counsel is authorized to bring an injunction proceeding to restrain or enjoin any violation of this title.

§ 20-107 Application; filing fee; license fee.

  1. All applications for licenses shall be made to the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee in such form and detail as shall be prescribed.
  2. Every application for a license or the renewal of an existing license shall provide an opportunity for the applicant to indicate the language in which he or she would prefer that inspections in connection with such license be conducted. Nothing in this subdivision nor any failure to comply with such preference shall be construed so as to create a cause of action or constitute a defense in any legal, administrative, or other proceeding.
  3. Except as specifically provided in chapter two, every application shall include the license fee for the full license term. If the license is not issued, the lesser of fifty dollars or one-half of the amount of the annual license fee shall be retained by the department as a non-returnable filing fee. In the event a license is issued for less than the full license term, the applicable fee shall be decreased proportionately to the nearest half year, except that in no case shall the fee be less than the fee for one-half year. Where a two year license is surrendered for a reason other than suspension or revocation and less than one year of the license term has expired, the licensee may apply for a refund of an amount equal to one year’s license fee. Except as otherwise specifically provided for in chapter two, reference to fees, license fees or any other word of similar import shall be deemed to be the license fee for one year. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of this section, whenever the commissioner increases or decreases the term of a type of license pursuant to section 20-108 of this chapter, the fee for such license shall be increased or decreased proportionately and the amount of refund due upon surrender of such license before the expiration of the term for a reason other than suspension or revocation shall be prorated to the unexpired term.

§ 20-108 License terms.

  1. The commissioner shall establish by regulation the expiration date of licenses issued pursuant to chapter two.
  2. Licenses issued pursuant to chapter two shall be for a two-year term unless otherwise specifically provided for in chapter two; provided, however, that whenever the commissioner changes the expiration date of a type of license pursuant to subdivision a of this section, he or she may also increase or decrease the term of such type of license by rule to the extent necessary to effectuate the change.

§ 20-109 Transferability.

No license issued under chapter two shall be assignable or transferable unless otherwise specifically provided by law or regulation or rule issued by the commissioner.

§ 20-110 Change of corporate ownership.

Where any person or organization becomes the beneficial owner of ten percent or more of the stock of an organization to which a license has been granted pursuant to chapter two, if such person or organization previously did not hold at least a ten percent interest, such license shall immediately become void unless prior written approval of the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee is obtained.

§ 20-111 Change in a partnership.

Any license issued under chapter two shall immediately become void upon the addition or termination of any general partner or upon the dissolution of a partnership unless prior written approval of the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee is obtained.

§ 20-112 Address of licensed activity.

Except as specifically provided in chapter two, a license shall be valid only for the location designated upon the application therefor, except in the case of licenses issued for activities which in their nature are carried out at large and not at a fixed place of business. No license shall be issued for more than one location. Licensees shall, at least ten days prior thereto, notify the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee by registered or certified mail, or personal service, of any change of address of the licensed premises or of the residence of the licensee.

§ 20-113 Trade name.

A license issued under chapter two shall be valid only for activities conducted under the name of the person or organization to whom such license was issued or under the trade name stated in the application therefor; if a licensed activity is to be conducted under a trade name, the application must state that trade name. No license shall be issued for more than one trade name, and no licensed activity may be carried out under more than one such name; provided, however, that if a person or organization was engaged in bona fide licensed activities under more than one such trade name or was issued a license to conduct licensed activities under more than one trade name prior to June fifth, nineteen hundred seventy-three, a single license shall be issued for such trade names. Licensees shall notify the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee of any change of trade name at least ten days before such change becomes effective, and no such change may take place without the prior written approval of the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee.

§ 20-114 Inspection; display of license.

  1. All licensed vehicles or places of business shall be regularly inspected, and reports thereof shall be made to the commissioner.
  2. All licensees shall conspicuously post on their premises, licenses issued under chapter two and said licenses shall be accessible at all times for inspection by any interested person. Licensees having no fixed place of business shall exhibit their licenses upon the request of any interested person.

§ 20-115 Bonds.

Except as specifically provided in chapter two, a bond may be required for any licensed activity in a form and amount approved by the commissioner for the due observance of the provisions of chapter two and the laws, regulations and rules governing the conduct of licensed activities. The amount of the bond shall be established by the commissioner after a public hearing, five-day notice of which shall be published in the City Record.

§ 20-116 Advertising.

  1. Any person required to be licensed under chapter two or pursuant to provisions of state law enforced by the department to carry on a trade, occupation or business activity, who is not so licensed may not advertise the availability of goods and services related to the carrying on of such trade, occupation or business activity in any print publication or broadcast media having a circulation or audience within the city.
  2. The commissioner after notice and hearing shall be authorized to impose civil penalties upon any person found to have violated subdivision a of this section. Such penalties shall be levied for each broadcast of such advertisement and shall be not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for each violation. Such penalties for printed advertisements shall be determined based on the period of time the publication in which the advertisement appears remains current. The current period shall be determined as that time when a publication is initially offered for sale until the period when the next dated publication is offered for sale. In no case shall this period be less than twenty-four hours. If the current period is: daily, such penalty shall be not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars per day; weekly, such penalty shall be not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than three hundred fifty dollars per week; greater than one week and not more than one month, such penalty shall be not less than three hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars; greater than one month, such penalty shall be not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars. Such civil penalties may be recovered in a civil action before any court having jurisdiction of such actions.
  3. The commissioner shall promulgate regulations requiring that any person required to be licensed under this title or pursuant to provisions of state law enforced by the department shall state in all print advertising with respect to such licensed activity the license number, and that the activity is licensed by the department.

§ 20-117 Licensee disclosure of security breach; notification requirements.

  1. Definitions. For the purposes of this section,

   1. The term “personal identifying information” shall mean any person’s date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, non-driver photo identification card number, financial services account number or code, savings account number or code, checking account number or code, brokerage account number or code, credit card account number or code, debit card number or code, automated teller machine number or code, personal identification number, mother’s maiden name, computer system password, electronic signature or unique biometric data that is a fingerprint, voice print, retinal image or iris image of another person. This term shall apply to all such data, notwithstanding the method by which such information is maintained.

   2. The term “breach of security’ shall mean unauthorized possession of personal identifying information that compromises the security, confidentiality or integrity of such information. Good faith or inadvertent possession of any personal identifying information by an employee or agent of the licensee for the legitimate purposes of the business of the licensee shall not constitute a breach of security.

  1. Any person required to be licensed pursuant to chapter two of this title, or pursuant to provisions of state law enforced by the department, that owns or leases data that includes personal identifying information and any person required to be licensed pursuant to chapter two of this title, or pursuant to provisions of state law enforced by the department, that maintains but does not own data that includes personal identifying information shall immediately disclose to the department and to the police department any breach of security following discovery by a supervisor or manager, or following notification to a supervisor or manager, of such breach if such personal identifying information is reasonably believed to have been acquired by an unauthorized person.
  2. Subsequent to compliance with the provisions set forth in subdivision b of this section, any person required to be licensed pursuant to chapter two of this title, or pursuant to provisions of state law enforced by the department, that owns or leases data that includes personal identifying information shall disclose, in accordance with the procedures set forth in subdivision e of this section, any breach of security following discovery by a supervisor or manager, or following notification to a supervisor or manager, of such breach to any person whose personal identifying information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by an unauthorized person.
  3. Subsequent to compliance with the provisions set forth in subdivision b of this section, any person required to be licensed pursuant to chapter two of this title, or pursuant to provisions of state law enforced by the department, that maintains but does not own data that includes personal identifying information shall disclose, in accordance with the procedures set forth in subdivision e of this section, any breach of security following discovery by a supervisor or manager, or following notification to a supervisor or manager, of such breach to the owner, lessor or licensor of the data if the personal identifying information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by an unauthorized person.
  4. The disclosures required by subdivisions c and d of this section shall be made as soon as practicable by a method reasonable under the circumstances. Provided said method is not inconsistent with the legitimate needs of law enforcement or any other investigative or protective measures necessary to restore the reasonable integrity of the data system, disclosure shall be made by at least one of the following means:

   1. Written notice to the individual at his or her last known address; or

   2. Verbal notification to the individual by telephonic communication; or

   3. Electronic notification to the individual at his or her last known e-mail address.

  1. Should disclosure pursuant to paragraphs one, two or three of subdivision e be impracticable or inappropriate given the circumstances of the breach and the identity of the victim, such disclosure shall be made by a mechanism of the licensee’s choosing, provided such mechanism is reasonably targeted to the individual in a manner that does not further compromise the integrity of the personal information disclosed and has been approved, or is in compliance with rules promulgated, by the Commissioner.
  2. Any person required to be licensed pursuant to chapter two of this title, or pursuant to provisions of state law enforced by the department, that discards any records of an individual’s personal identifying information shall do so in a manner intended to prevent retrieval of the information contained therein or thereon.
  3. Any person required to be licensed pursuant to chapter two of this title, or pursuant to provisions of state law enforced by the department, who shall violate any of the provisions of this section, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) and shall be liable for a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) for each violation.

§ 20-118 Notifications regarding identity theft.

Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or association required to be licensed under chapter two, or pursuant to provisions of state law enforced by the department, shall immediately notify the department upon the occurrence of a judgment against such person, firm, partnership, corporation or association for theft of identity; a conviction of such person, firm, partnership, corporation or association of an offense specified in subdivision g of section 20-104 of this chapter; or a conviction of the person’s, firm’s, partnership’s, corporation’s or association’s employees or associates for acts of identity theft or unlawful possession of personal identification information as defined in article one hundred ninety of the penal law that are committed with the use of the person’s, firm’s, partnership’s, corporation’s or association’s equipment, data, technology, or other similar resource.

§ 20-119 Analysis of tribunal dismissals.

The department shall issue a report by April 1 of each year analyzing the violations dismissed by the department’s adjudication division, office, or tribunal during the prior calendar year. Such report shall include a cataloguing and analysis of the characteristics of the violations dismissed and the reasons for dismissal. Such report shall include an analysis of any trends observed in dismissals during the year of the report, as well as a comparison with any previous reports issued pursuant to this section. Such report shall include the department’s planned actions to minimize the occurrence of issued violations being dismissed. Such report shall be sent to the speaker of the council, the public advocate, and the mayor.

Editor’s note: the local law that enacted the above § 20-119 shall expire and be deemed repealed on 12/31/2018; see L.L. 2015/069 § 2.

Chapter 3: Weights and Measures

§ 20-571 Fees.

All fees for permits issued by the department shall be paid to the department.

§ 20-572 Transfers of permits or licenses.

Written approval of the commissioner shall be required for the transfer or assignment of any permit or license under his or her jurisdiction.

§ 20-573 Adjustment of controversies.

The commissioner of ports and trade may adjust and settle any claims and controversies in regard to rents and other matters which appertain to leases of market lands.

§ 20-574 Rules and regulations.

  1. The commissioner shall have power to adopt and amend such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out his or her powers and duties pursuant to this chapter.
  2. Punishment. Any person who shall violate any such rules and regulations shall be liable to forfeit and pay a civil penalty in the sum of not more than one hundred dollars for each violation.
  3. Violations. Any person who shall violate any of such rules and regulations shall be guilty of an offense triable by a judge of the New York city criminal court, and punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars and not more than two hundred fifty dollars for each offense or by imprisonment not exceeding ten days, or by both.

§ 20-575 Waterfront property adjoining market lands; highways through or bounding market places.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall interfere with the jurisdiction of the department of ports and trade over any waterfront property in and around any market lands, nor with the jurisdiction of the commissioner of transportation over market lands, insofar as it concerns his or her powers over highways.

§ 20-576 City sealer.

The commissioner, or such officer or employee in the department as he or she may designate, shall have all of the powers and perform all of the duties of a sealer of weights and measures pursuant to section one hundred eighty of the agriculture and markets law.

§ 20-577 Inspectors of markets, weights and measures.

  1. The commissioner shall have power and it shall be his or her duty to appoint a chief inspector of markets, weights and measures and inspectors of markets, weights and measures. The title of inspectors of live poultry and weighmasters shall be abolished and all persons occupying those titles shall henceforth have the title of inspector of markets, weights and measures, with all the powers and duties of that title. Wherever any reference to the title or duties of inspector of live poultry or weighmaster appears in this code, the title or duties of inspector of markets, weights and measures shall be substituted therefor.
  2. Each inspector is hereby authorized and empowered, subject to the regulations of the department, to enforce any law, rule or regulation pertaining to the weights and dimensions of vehicles and to proceed under the provisions of article one hundred fifty of the criminal procedure law, in the same manner and with like force and effect as a police officer in respect to procuring, countersigning and serving the appearance tickets referred to therein in cases arising out of the enforcement of any such law, rule or regulation.

§ 20-578 Bureau of weights and measures.

There shall be a bureau of weights and measures in the department under the supervision of the chief inspector of weights and measures.

§ 20-579 Employees not to engage in business.

It shall be unlawful for the commissioner or any officer or employee of such bureau, to engage in the business of manufacturing, vending or selling any weighing or measuring device, under the penalty of fifty dollars for each offense.

§ 20-580 Return of department property.

Whenever any inspector shall resign or be removed from office, he or she shall deliver at the office of the commissioner all the standard weights and measures and other official property in his or her possession.

§ 20-581 Inspecting.

  1. Each inspector of markets, weights and measures is hereby authorized to inspect, examine, test and seal at least once in each year, and as often as the commissioner may deem proper, all weighing and measuring devices. Upon the written request of any resident of the city, the commissioner shall test or cause to be tested, within a reasonable time after the receipt of such request, the weighing or measuring devices used in buying or selling by the person making such request. All such appliances shall be marked by the inspector with the initials of his or her name and the date on which the same shall be sealed and marked.
  2. Such books shall be open for inspection at all reasonable times to any police officer, inspector or person duly authorized by the commissioner, or by any judge of the criminal court of the city of New York.

§ 20-582 Reports of inspectors.

Each inspector shall report promptly to the commissioner the names of all persons whose weighing and measuring devices shall be found to be incorrect. Each inspector shall file a daily report with the commissioner, and make such other and further reports and keep such further records as may be required, from time to time, by the commissioner.

§ 20-583 Certificate of inspection.

Each inspector shall furnish a certificate to the owner of the weights or measures inspected, and shall keep a record of each certificate given on a corresponding stub. The certificates and corresponding stubs shall be numbered consecutively. The books containing the stubs, after the corresponding certificates have been given out, shall be a public record. The commissioner, when required, shall certify extracts from such records.

§ 20-584 Testing, sealing and marking.

It shall be unlawful to use any weighing or measuring device unless the same shall have been tested, sealed and marked by the commissioner or an inspector of such bureau.

§ 20-585 Standard measures and containers.

It shall be unlawful to manufacture, construct, sell, offer for sale, or give away, any dry or liquid measure, or any barrel, pail, basket, vessel, or container, intended to be used in the purchase or sale of any commodity or article of merchandise, unless it shall be so constructed as to conform to the standards provided by article sixteen of the agriculture and markets law. It shall be unlawful for any person to use any barrel, cask, pail, basket, vessel or container, in the purchase or sale of any commodity or article of merchandise, unless it shall conform to such standards.

§ 20-586 Sale of weights and measures.

It shall be unlawful to sell, offer for sale, or give away any weighing or measuring devices or the tools, appliances or accessories connected therewith, intended to be used for the purchase or sale of any commodity or article of merchandise, or for public weighing, unless the type or types of such weighing or measuring devices, or the tools, appliances or accessories connected therewith, with specifications as to construction, shall have been submitted to and approved by the commissioner. The commissioner, when such types are approved, shall designate and identify them by a serial number. A record of the serial numbers and the persons to whom such numbers are assigned shall be kept in the office of the commissioner. The commissioner shall keep a register of the name of each person whose weighing or measuring devices have been inspected, together with their serial numbers and size, and whether approved or condemned, with the date of inspection. Such record shall be a public record.

§ 20-587 Sale by true weight or measure required.

It shall be unlawful to sell or offer for sale any commodity or article of merchandise, at or for a greater weight or measure than the true weight or measure thereof; for the purposes of this section the true weight of frozen poultry, shall be the net weight thereof exclusive of any food product or substance added or combined therewith; and all such commodities and articles of merchandise shall be weighed or measured by duly tested devices, sealed and marked by the commissioner or an inspector of the bureau; provided, that vegetables may be sold by the head or bunch.

§ 20-588 Confiscation of false weights or measures.

Any weight which upon being tested is found to be short a quarter of an ounce or more; or any scale of a capacity greater than four hundred pounds, which upon being tested, is found to be short in weight by a quarter of a pound or more; or any scale of a capacity of between two hundred forty and four hundred pounds, which upon being tested is found to be short two ounces or more; or any scale of a capacity greater than four hundred pounds, which upon being tested, is found to be short five ounces or more; or any scale which is in an unfit condition to be used by being worn out, badly rusted, or by any other cause; or any measure or utensil being used in the sale or purchase of any commodity or article of merchandise, which does not conform to the standards provided by article sixteen of the agriculture and markets law, may be summarily confiscated and destroyed by the commissioner or an inspector of the bureau.

§ 20-589 Alteration of tested appliances.

It shall be unlawful to render inaccurate, any device, to be used in weighing or measuring any commodity or article of merchandise, after such device has been tested, sealed and marked by the commissioner or an inspector of the bureau.

§ 20-590 Repair of inaccurate appliances.

Within five days after the condemnation of a weighing or measuring device, the owner thereof, at his or her own expense, shall cause the same to be conformed to the standards established by article sixteen of the agriculture and markets law, and within twenty-four hours thereof, shall cause notice, in writing, of such alteration to be mailed or served personally upon such bureau. The seal upon any such device shall remain affixed and unbroken unless removed pursuant to section one hundred eighty-three of the agriculture and markets law.

§ 20-591 Interference with inspectors.

It shall be unlawful for any person to obstruct, hinder or molest the commissioner or any inspector of the bureau in the performance of his or her duties.

§ 20-592 Violations; report of.

The commissioner shall report forthwith to the corporation counsel the names and places of business of all persons violating the provisions of this chapter, and of all persons making use of any fraudulent or unsealed weighing or measuring devices.

§ 20-593 Punishment.

Any person who shall violate any of the foregoing provisions for the regulation of weights and measures shall forfeit and pay a penalty of one hundred dollars for each and every such offense.

§ 20-594 Violations.

Any person violating any of the provisions of sections 20-583 through 20-593 of this chapter, shall be guilty of an offense triable by a judge of the New York city criminal court, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined the sum of not less than twenty-five dollars and not more than two hundred fifty dollars for each offense, or by imprisonment not exceeding ten days, or by both.

Chapter 4: Regulation of Commodities and Services

Subchapter 1: Dealers In Second-hand Weighing Or Measuring Devices

§ 20-601 License required.

It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in or conduct the business of dealing in, trading in, selling, receiving or repairing condemned, rebuilt or used weighing or measuring devices without a permit therefor.

§ 20-602 Application for permit.

  1. Any person before engaging in such business shall file a written application with the commissioner for such permit, stating in such application the location of the place in which such business is to be conducted.
  2. Such application shall be in the form prescribed by such commissioner.
  3. Such permit shall be granted only to a person of the age of eighteen years or over.

§ 20-603 Permit; fee.

  1. After the filing of such an application, and investigation thereof duly made, the commissioner, if he or she approves of such application, may issue a permit conditioned upon compliance with the provisions of this subchapter and with the rules and regulations of any city agency applicable to such permittee.
  2. The fee for such permit for a year, or any portion thereof, shall be sixty dollars, and shall be payable upon the filing of such application.
  3. Such permit shall expire on the twenty-eighth day of February next succeeding the date of issuance thereof.

§ 20-604 Notice as to repaired devices.

Every person engaged in the business of dealing in, trading in, selling, receiving or repairing condemned, rebuilt or used weighing or measuring devices, within five days after the making of a repair, or the sale and delivery of a repaired, rebuilt, or used weighing or measuring device, shall serve notice in writing on the commissioner giving the name and address of the person for whom such repair has been made, or to whom a repaired, rebuilt or used weighing or measuring device has been sold or delivered, and shall include a statement that such device has been so altered, rebuilt or repaired as to conform to the standard specifications and regulations of such department.

§ 20-605 Condemned devices; return of tags.

Any person who accepts weighing or measuring devices in trade for others shall remove the condemned tags from those devices which have been condemned by the department and which are intended for dismantling or destruction. Such tags shall be returned to the department within five days thereafter, with a statement describing the weighing or measuring device, giving the name and address of the person from whom it was received, and a statement to the effect that it has been dismantled or destroyed.

§ 20-606 Records.

  1. Every person duly registered pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter shall maintain a book or register in which the following information shall be kept:

   1. The name and address of every person for whom weighing or measuring devices are repaired;

   2. The name and address of every person to whom a repaired, rebuilt, or used weighing or measuring device has been sold or delivered.

  1. Such books shall be open for inspection at all reasonable times to any police officer, inspector or person duly authorized by the commissioner, or by any judge of the criminal court of the city of New York.

§ 20-607 Comparison of testing equipment.

All persons dealing in, trading in, selling, receiving or repairing condemned, rebuilt or used weighing or measuring devices, shall submit their testing equipment at least once a year, to the testing station of the department for comparison and calibration with the prime standards maintained by such department, after which the department shall issue to such person a statement or certificate of its findings.

§ 20-608 Violations.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this subchapter, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined a sum of not more than one hundred dollars for each offense, or by imprisonment not exceeding ten days, or by both, and, in the discretion of the commissioner, shall be liable to have his or her permit suspended, revoked or cancelled.

Subchapter 2: Charcoal

§ 20-609 Charcoal.

All charcoal and charcoal briquettes shall be sold by weight and each container in which charcoal or charcoal briquettes are sold or delivered, shall be plainly and conspicuously marked to show the net quantity of the contents in letters and figures commensurate with the size of the container as shall be determined and fixed by the commissioner, and shall also bear the legend “CAUTION COOK ONLY IN PROPERLY VENTILATED AREAS,” or a substantially similar legend as may be approved by the commissioner in a size commensurate with the size of the container and so placed on the container as shall be determined and fixed by the commissioner.

§ 20-610 Punishment.

(a) Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be liable to forfeit and pay a civil penalty in the sum of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) for each violation.
  1. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25) nor more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for each offense, or by imprisonment for not less than thirty (30) days, or both.

Subchapter 3: Etching Acid*

§ 20-611 Definitions.

Whenever used in this subchapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

  1. “Dealer of etching acid” shall mean any person, firm, partnership, corporation or company that engages in the business of dispensing etching acid.
  2. “Dispense” shall mean to dispose of, give away, give, lease, loan, keep for sale, offer, offer for sale, sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of.
  3. “Etching acid” shall have the same meaning set forth in subdivision e of section 10-117.
  4. “Personal information” shall mean data pertaining to the purchaser of etching acid that may be used to identify such purchaser. Such information shall be limited to the purchaser’s name, address, type of identification used in the purchase, identification number, if applicable, the date of purchase and amount of acid dispensed to the purchaser.
  5. “Purchasing records” shall mean all written or electronically recorded personal information about a purchaser of etching acid gathered at the time of purchase by a dealer of etching acid as required by this subchapter.

§ 20-612 Requirements for purchase or sale.

  1. Every dealer of etching acid shall request valid photo identification from each purchaser of etching acid at the time of such purchase and contemporaneously record in writing or electronically such purchaser’s personal information.
  2. No person shall purchase etching acid without first providing his or her personal information to the dealer of etching acid pursuant to this subchapter. It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of this subdivision that the dealer failed to request personal information from the purchaser of etching acid.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person to dispense etching acid to any person without recording such purchaser’s personal information.

§ 20-613 Posting notice.

Every dealer of etching acid shall conspicuously post at every table, desk or counter where orders are placed and/or payment is made a notice, the form and manner of which are to be provided by rule of the commissioner, indicating that all purchasers of etching acid shall be required to provide valid photo identification and their personal information and such information shall be recorded by the dealer of etching acid prior to purchase.

§ 20-614 Records of purchase.

  1. Purchasing records shall be kept in a secure location and made available only to the commissioner and his or her designee, or a police officer, and shall be used solely for the purposes of enforcement of this subchapter and of state and local anti-graffiti laws and rules.
    1. Purchasing records shall be kept by dealers of etching acid for one year.

   b. All purchasing records and any other information pertaining to the purchase or sale of etching acid shall be disposed of by the following methods only:

      i. shredding the records before the disposal of the records; or

      ii. destroying the personal information contained in the records; or

      iii. modifying the records to make the personal information unreadable; or

      iv. taking actions consistent with commonly accepted industry practices reasonably believed to ensure that no unauthorized person will have access to the personal information contained in the records.

§ 20-615 Rules.

The commissioner may make and promulgate such rules and regulations as he or she may deem necessary for the proper implementation and enforcement of this subchapter.

§ 20-616 Penalties.

  1. Any person who violates the provisions of this subchapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars and not more than two hundred fifty dollars.
  2. Any person violating this subchapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than one hundred dollars and not more than two hundred fifty dollars. A proceeding to recover any civil penalty pursuant to this subchapter shall be commenced by the service of a notice of hearing that shall be returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department.
  3. Any person who subsequently violates this subchapter within a period of one year of the date of the first violation shall be guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine not less than five hundred dollars.

Subchapter 3: Language Assistance Services In Pharmacies*

§ 20-620 Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

  1. “Chain pharmacy” shall mean any pharmacy that is part of a group of four or more establishments that (1) conduct business under the same business name or (2) operate under common ownership or management or pursuant to a franchise agreement with the same franchisor.
  2. “Competent oral interpretation” shall mean oral communication in which (1) a person acting as an interpreter comprehends a spoken message and re-expresses that message accurately in another language, utilizing all necessary pharmaceutical- and health-related terminology; (2) a bilingual pharmacy staff member communicates proficiently with an LEP individual in the LEP individual’s primary language utilizing all necessary pharmaceutical- and health-related terminology; or (3) a person acting as an interpreter or a bilingual pharmacy staff member accurately translates a written document orally for an LEP individual utilizing all necessary pharmaceutical- and health-related terminology.
  3. “Competent translation” shall mean written communication in which a person or device translates a written message and re-writes that message accurately in another language.
  4. “Language assistance services” shall mean competent oral interpretation and/or competent translation provided to a limited English proficient individual in his or her primary language to ensure that such individual understands medication labels, warning labels and instructions for drug usage.
  5. “Limited English proficient individual” or “LEP individual” shall mean an individual who identifies as being, or is evidently, unable to speak, read or write English at a level that permits such individual to understand health-related and pharmaceutical information communicated in English.
  6. “Other written material” shall mean any written material other than a prescription label or warning label that the pharmacy considers vital to an LEP individual’s safe and effective use of prescription medications.
  7. “Pharmacy” shall mean any retail establishment that is located within the city of New York in which prescription drugs are sold.
  8. “Pharmacy primary languages” shall mean the top seven languages spoken by LEP individuals in New York city, as determined biennially by the department of city planning based on data from the American Community Survey and made available to each chain pharmacy.
  9. “Primary language” shall mean the language identified by an LEP individual as the language to be used in communicating with such individual.

§ 20-621 Provision of interpretation services required.

  1. Every chain pharmacy shall provide free, competent oral interpretation services to each LEP individual filling a prescription at such chain pharmacy in the LEP individual’s primary language for the purposes of counseling such individual about his or her prescription medications or when soliciting information necessary to maintain a patient medication profile, unless the LEP individual is offered and refuses such services.
  2. Every chain pharmacy shall provide free, competent oral interpretation of prescription medication labels, warning labels and other written material to each LEP individual filling a prescription at such chain pharmacy, unless the LEP individual is offered and refuses such services.
  3. The services required by this section may be provided by a staff member of the pharmacy or a third-party paid or volunteer contractor. Such services must be provided on an immediate basis but need not be provided in-person or face-to-face in order to meet the requirements of this section.

§ 20-622 Provision of translation services required.

Every chain pharmacy shall provide free, competent translation of prescription medication labels, warning labels and other written material to each LEP individual filling a prescription at such chain pharmacy if that individual’s primary language is one of the pharmacy primary languages, in addition to providing such labels and materials in English. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a chain pharmacy from providing dual- or multi-language medication labels, warning labels or other written materials to LEP individuals who speak one of the pharmacy primary languages if one of the languages included on such labels or sheets is the LEP individual’s primary language.

§ 20-623 Notification relating to language assistance services.

  1. Every chain pharmacy shall conspicuously post, at or adjacent to each counter over which prescription drugs are sold, a notification of the right to free language assistance services for limited English proficient individuals as provided for in sections 20-621 and 20-622 of this subchapter. Such notifications shall be provided in all of the pharmacy’s primary languages. The size, style and placement of such notice shall be determined in accordance with rules promulgated by the department.

§ 20-624 Penalties.

  1. Any chain pharmacy that violates the provisions of sections 20-621 or 20-622 of this subchapter or any rules promulgated pursuant to such sections shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars for the first violation and for each succeeding violation a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars.
  2. Any chain pharmacy that violates the provisions of section 20-623 of this subchapter or any rules promulgated pursuant to such section shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for the first violation and for each succeeding violation a civil penalty of not less than three hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars.

§ 20-625 Hearing authority.

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall be authorized upon due notice and hearing, to impose civil penalties for the violation of any provision of this subchapter and any rules promulgated thereunder. The department shall have the power to render decisions and orders and to impose civil penalties not to exceed the amounts specified in section 20-624 of this subchapter for each such violation. All proceedings authorized pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner. The penalties provided for in section 20-624 of this subchapter shall be in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided for the enforcement of such provisions under any other law including, but not limited to, civil or criminal actions or proceedings.
  2. All such proceedings shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of notices of violation. The notice of violation or copy thereof when filled in and served shall constitute notice of the violation charged, and, if sworn to or affirmed, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein.

Subchapter 4: Hamburgers and Chopped Meat

§ 20-667 Definitions.

Whenever used in this subchapter “hamburger” shall mean chopped fresh beef with or without the addition of beef fat, and of seasoning.

§ 20-668 Standard for hamburger.

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale meat as hamburger unless it shall consist of chopped fresh beef with or without the addition of beef fat, or of seasoning, and in no case shall it contain more than thirty percent of beef fat.

§ 20-669 Labeling of chopped meat.

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale meat chopped in advance of sale as chopped meat unless it is labeled specifically to state the types of meat which it contains, and in no case shall such chopped meat contain more than thirty percent of fat.

§ 20-670 Sale of meat ground upon request by customer.

All meats purchased, whether prepackaged or cut to order, and then requested by customer to be ground on the premises, shall be ground in a meat grinder which shall be in clear and unobstructed view of the public.

§ 20-671 Violations.

A violation of any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for each offense, or by imprisonment not in excess of ten days, or both.

Subchapter 5: Sales of Petroleum Products

§ 20-672 Price displays.

  1. Except as provided in subdivision five of section one hundred ninety-two of the agriculture and markets law, it shall be unlawful for any person, in connection with the sale or offer for sale at retail of any petroleum products for use in motor vehicles or motor boats, to post or maintain at such place of sale any sign, placard or other display that states the price at which such petroleum products are sold or offered for sale, except as follows:

   1. The price on such sign, placard or other display shall be stated by the unit of the measure at which such petroleum products are customarily sold at retail and shall include all applicable taxes;

   2. The name, trade name, brand, mark or symbol, and grade or quality classification, if any, and method of processing of such petroleum products shall be clearly stated on such sign, placard or other display, and, if such petroleum products are sold without identification by name, trade name, brand, mark or symbol, such sign, placard or other display shall refer clearly to such petroleum products as unbranded;

   3. In relation to the sale of gasoline for use in motor vehicles or motor boats, the price for the lowest grade of gasoline offered for sale shall be stated; and

   4. Where the price for purchases made with cash or other specified form of payment is less than the price for purchases made with any other form of payment, such sign, poster, or placard shall state the price for each type of accepted payment.

  1. A retail dealer shall only sell petroleum products at the price stated on any sign, placard or other display subject to subdivision a of this section. It shall be unlawful to raise the price stated on any sign, placard or other display subject to subdivision a of this section for at least 24 hours.
  2. All numbers referring to price shall be the same height, width and thickness. Identification of the petroleum products offered for sale, and any non-numerical language distinguishing the prices charged for different forms of payment shall be in letters and numbers not less than one-half of the height, width and thickness of the numbers referring to price. Letters and numbers shall be black on a white background or displayed on an illuminated light-emitting diode sign.
  3. Price per gallon indicator. Except as otherwise provided in article sixteen of the agriculture and markets law or in any rule or regulations promulgated thereunder, every gasoline or diesel motor fuel dispensing device shall be equipped with a price per gallon indicator that shall correspond with the price per gallon stated on any sign, placard or other display subject to subdivision a of this section.
  4. Price indicator. Every gasoline or diesel motor fuel dispensing device shall be equipped with a total delivery indicator that shall record the correct price computed on the basis of the stated price per gallon and number of gallons delivered.
  5. Notwithstanding the foregoing, subdivisions a, b and c of this section shall not apply to the posting of information and labeling of dispensing devices with respect to the lead content of gasoline for motor vehicles, which shall be governed by the provisions of subdivision d and e of section 20-673.1 of this subchapter and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, and subdivisions a, b and c of this section shall not apply to the posting of information and labeling of dispensing devices with respect to the octane rating of gasoline for motor vehicles, which shall be governed by the provisions of subdivision d of section 20-673.2 of this subchapter and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder.

§ 20-672.1 Sales Record Keeping Requirements.

  1. Every retail dealer of petroleum products shall maintain a daily sales record of all petroleum products for which prices are required to be posted as provided in section 20-672. Such records shall document the total volume of each such type of product sold each day, the unit price and the total daily amount of sales for each such type of product, and the date and time when a change to the price posting specified in section 20-672 was made.
  2. All records required to be maintained shall be preserved in a manner that ensures their security and accessibility for inspection by the department for a period of one year.
  3. All records required to be maintained shall be kept in chronological order, either in writing or electronically, and shall be available for inspection by the department as follows:

   1. Records maintained in writing shall be retained at the premises where sales are made for each of the immediately preceding thirty days. Such records shall be made available on demand to the department at such premises. The records required to be kept for the period beyond the immediately preceding thirty days shall be presented at the offices of the department within five business days after demand to produce them has been served on a retail dealer.

   2. Records maintained electronically shall be retained on the premises in a manner that displays the data for the entire period for which the electronic data system retains such data to permit an inspector to view it on demand on the device, and if such period is for less than the immediately preceding thirty days, then the data must be provided on demand in a chronologically ordered print-out for the full thirty days. A complete and accurate print out of the electronically maintained records that are required to be kept for the period beyond the immediately preceding thirty days shall be presented at the offices of the department within five business days after demand to produce them has been served on a retail dealer.

§ 20-673 Fraudulent practices prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale gasoline or other petroleum products for use in motor vehicles or motor boats in any manner so as to deceive or tend to deceive the purchaser as to the price, nature, quality or identity thereof; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to the prohibition of deceptive practices involving the representation of gasoline for motor vehicles as unleaded, which shall be governed by the provisions of section 20-673.1 of this subchapter and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, and provided, further, that this section shall not apply to the prohibition of deceptive practices involving the certification, display or representation of the octane rating of gasoline for motor vehicles, which shall be governed by the provisions of section 20-673.2 of this subchapter and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale from any pump, dispensing devices or container any gasoline or other petroleum products other than gasoline or other petroleum products manufactured or distributed by the manufacturer or distributor marketing such gasoline or other petroleum products under the name, trade name, brand, symbol or mark affixed to or contained on such pump, dispensing device or container, or to substitute, mix or adulterate gasoline or other petroleum products sold or offered for sale under a name, trade name, brand, symbol or mark.

§ 20-673.1 Sale of unleaded gasoline.

  1. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

   1. “Distributor” shall mean any person who transports or stores or causes the transportation or storage of gasoline at any point between any plant at which gasoline is produced and any retail outlet or facility of a wholesale purchaser-consumer.

   2. “Gasoline” shall mean any fuel sold for use in motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines, and commonly or commercially known or sold as gasoline.

   3. “Lead additive” shall mean any substance containing lead or lead compounds.

   4. “Leaded gasoline” shall mean gasoline which is produced with the use of any lead additive or which contains more than five one hundredths of a gram of lead per gallon or more than five one thousandths of a gram of phosphorus per gallon.

   5. “Refiner” shall mean any person who owns, leases, operates, controls or supervises a plant at which gasoline is produced.

   6. “Reseller” shall mean any person who purchases gasoline identified by the corporate, trade or brand name of a refiner from such refiner or a distributor and resells or transfers it to retailers or wholesale purchaser-consumers displaying the refiner’s brand, and whose assets or facilities are not substantially owned, leased or controlled by such refiner.

   7. “Retail outlet” shall mean any establishment at which gasoline is sold or offered for sale for use in motor vehicles.

   8. “Retailer” shall mean any person who owns, leases, operates, controls, or supervises a retail outlet.

   9. “Unleaded gasoline” shall mean gasoline which is produced without the use of any lead additive and which contains not more than five one hundredths of a gram of lead per gallon and not more than five one thousandths of a gram of phosphorus per gallon.

   10. “Wholesale purchaser-consumer” shall mean any organization that is an ultimate consumer of gasoline and which purchases or obtains gasoline from a supplier for use in motor vehicles and receives delivery of that product into a storage tank of at least five hundred fifty gallon capacity substantially under the control of that organization.

  1. No distributor shall sell or transfer to any other distributor, retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer any gasoline which is represented to be unleaded unless such gasoline meets the defined requirements for unleaded gasoline set forth in subdivision a of this section.
  2. No retailer or employee or agent of a retailer, and no wholesale purchaser-consumer or employee or agent of a wholesale purchaser-consumer, shall sell, dispense or offer for sale gasoline represented to be unleaded unless such gasoline meets the defined requirements for unleaded gasoline set forth in subdivision a of this section.
  3. Every retailer and wholesale purchaser-consumer shall affix to each gasoline pump stand in a location so as to be readily visible to the employees of such retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer and to person* operating motor vehicles into which gasoline is to be dispensed a permanent legible label as follows: (i) for gasoline pump stands containing pumps for introduction of unleaded gasoline into motor vehicles, the label shall state: “Unleaded gasoline”; and (ii) for gasoline pump stands containing pumps for introduction of leaded gasoline into motor vehicles, the label shall state: “Contains lead anti-knock compounds”; provided, however, that where more than one grade of unleaded gasoline is offered for sale at a retail outlet, compliance with this subdivision is required for only one grade.
  4. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, in any proceeding to adjudicate a violation of subdivision d of this section, a retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer may be found not to be liable for violation thereof where it is shown that more than one grade of gasoline is dispensed from a gasoline pump or pump stand and it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the commissioner that an alternative system of labeling furthers the objectives of such subdivision.
  5. Any violation of subdivision c of this section by a retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer shall also be deemed a violation by:

   (1) the reseller, if any, and the refiner, where the corporate, trade or brand name of such refiner or any of its marketing subsidiaries appears on the pump stand or is displayed at the retail outlet or wholesale purchaser-consumer facility from which the gasoline was sold, dispensed or offered for sale. Except as provided in subdivision g of this section, the refiner shall be deemed in violation of subdivision c of this section irrespective of whether any other refiner, distributor, retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer may have caused or permitted the violation; or

   (2) the distributor who sold such retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer gasoline contained in the storage tank which supplied the pump from which the gasoline was sold, dispensed or offered for sale which gave rise to the violation, where the corporate, trade or brand name of a refiner or any of its marketing subsidiaries does not appear on the pump stand and is not displayed at the retail outlet or wholesale purchaser-consumer facility from which the gasoline was sold, dispensed or offered for sale.

    1. In any case in which a retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer and any refiner or distributor would be in violation or be deemed in violation of subdivision c of this section, the retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer shall not be liable if he or she can demonstrate that the violation was not caused by such retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer or his or her employee or agent.

   (2) In any case in which a retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer would be in violation of subdivision c of this section, and a reseller, if any, and any refiner would be deemed in violation under paragraph one of subdivision f of this section, the refiner shall not be deemed in violation if he or she can demonstrate:

      (a) that the violation was not caused by such refiner or his or her employee or agent, and

      (b) that the violation was caused by an act in violation of any law, other than the provisions of this section, or an act of sabotage, vandalism, or deliberate commingling of leaded and unleaded gasoline, whether or not such acts are violations of law in the jurisdiction where the violation of the requirements of this section occurred, or

      (c) that the violation was caused by the action of a reseller or a retailer supplied by such reseller, in violation of a contractual undertaking imposed by the refiner on such reseller designed to prevent such action, and despite reasonable efforts by the refiner to insure compliance with such contractual obligation, such as periodic sampling, or

      (d) that the violation was caused by the action of a retailer who is supplied directly by the refiner and not by a reseller, in violation of a contractual undertaking imposed by the refiner on such retailer designed to prevent such action, and despite reasonable efforts by the refiner to insure compliance with such contractual obligation, such as periodic sampling, or

      (e) that the violation was caused by the action of a distributor subject to a contract with the refiner for transportation of gasoline from a terminal to a distributor, retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer, in violation of a contractual undertaking imposed by the refiner on such distributor designed to prevent such action, and despite reasonable efforts by the refiner to insure compliance with such contractual obligation, such as periodic sampling, or

      (f) that the violation was caused by a distributor (such as a common carrier) not subject to a contract with the refiner but engaged by him or her for transportation of gasoline from a terminal to a distributor, retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer, despite reasonable efforts by the refiner to prevent such action, such as specification or inspection of equipment, or

      (g) that the violation occurred at a wholesale purchaser-consumer facility; provided, however, that if such wholesale purchaser-consumer was supplied by a reseller, the refiner must demonstrate that the violation could not have been prevented by such reseller’s compliance with a contractual undertaking imposed by the refiner on such reseller as provided in subparagraph c of this paragraph.

  1. For purposes of subparagraphs (b) through (f) of this paragraph, the term “was caused” means that the refiner must demonstrate by reasonably specific showings by direct or circumstantial evidence that the violation was caused or must have been caused by another.

   (3) In any case in which a retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer would be in violation of subdivision c of this section, and a reseller and any refiner would be deemed in violation under paragraph one of subdivision f of this section, the reseller shall not be deemed in violation if he or she can demonstrate that the violation was not caused by such reseller or his or her employee or agent.

   (4) In any case in which a retailer or wholesale purchaser-consumer would be in violation of subdivision c of this section, and any distributor would be deemed in violation under paragraph two of subdivision f of this section, the distributor will not be deemed in violation if he or she can demonstrate that the violation was not caused by such distributor or his or her employee or agent.

§ 20-673.2 Certification, display and representation of octane rating.

  1. For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

   1. “Gasoline” shall mean gasoline of a type distributed for use as a fuel in any motor vehicle.

   2. “Distributor” shall mean any person who receives gasoline and distributes such gasoline to another person other than the ultimate purchaser.

   3. “Retailer” shall mean any person who markets gasoline to the general public for ultimate consumption.

   4. “Knock” shall mean the combustion of a fuel spontaneously in localized areas of a cylinder of a spark-ignition engine, instead of the combustion of such fuel progressing from the spark.

   5. “Octane rating” shall mean the rating of the anti-knock characteristics of a grade or type of gasoline as determined by dividing by two the sum of the research octane number plus the motor octane number, unless another procedure is prescribed under paragraph three of 15 U.S.C. § 2823(c), in which case such term shall mean the rating of such characteristics as determined under the procedure so prescribed.

   6. “Refiner” shall mean any person engaged in the refining of crude oil to produce gasoline or the importation of gasoline.

   7. “Research octane number” and “motor octane number” shall have the meaning given such terms in the specifications of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) entitled “Standard Specifications for Automotive Gasoline” designated D 439 and, with respect to any grade or type of gasoline, are determined in accordance with test methods set forth in ASTM standard test methods designated D 2699 and D 2700, or such other meaning given such terms in any regulations promulgated by the federal trade commission pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 2823.

   8. “Ultimate purchaser” shall mean, with respect to any item, the first person who purchases such item for purposes other than resale.

  1. Each refiner who distributes gasoline shall:

   (1) determine the octane rating of any such gasoline; and

   (2) if such refiner distributes such gasoline to any person other than the ultimate purchaser, certify, consistent with the determination made under paragraph one of this subdivision, the octane rating of such gasoline.

  1. Each distributor who receives gasoline, the octane rating of which is certified to the distributor under this section, and distributes such gasoline to another person other than the ultimate purchaser shall certify to such other person the octane rating of such gasoline consistent with:

   (1) the octane rating of such gasoline certified to such distributor; or

   (2) if such distributor elects, in accordance with the regulations of the federal trade commission, the octane rating of such gasoline determined by such distributor.

  1. Each retailer shall display at the point of sale to ultimate purchasers of gasoline, the octane rating of such gasoline, in accordance with the posting requirements and label specifications to be prescribed by the commissioner by regulation. Such octane rating shall be consistent with:

   (1) the octane rating of such gasoline certified to such retailer under paragraph two of subdivision b of this section or under subdivision c of this section;

   (2) if such retailer elects, in accordance with the regulations of the federal trade commission, the octane rating of such gasoline determined by such retailer for such gasoline; or

   (3) if such retailer is a refiner, the octane rating of such gasoline determined under paragraph one of subdivision b of this section.

  1. No person who distributes gasoline may make any representation respecting the anti-knock characteristics of such gasoline unless such representation fairly discloses the octane rating of such gasoline consistent with such gasoline’s octane rating as certified to, or determined by, such person under the foregoing subdivisions of this section.
  2. For purposes of this section, the octane rating of any gasoline shall be considered to be certified, displayed or represented by any person consistent with the rating certified to, or determined by, such person:

   (1) in the case of gasoline which consists of a blend of two or more quantities of gasoline of differing octane ratings, only if the rating certified, displayed or represented by such person is the average of the octane ratings of such quantities, weighted by volume; or

   (2) in the case of gasoline which does not consist of such a blend, only if the octane rating such person certifies, displays or represents is the same as the octane rating of such gasoline certified to, or determined by, such person.

§ 20-673.3 Inspection, investigation; recordkeeping.

  1. The commissioner or the commissioner’s designee, upon presentation of appropriate credentials, shall be authorized to enter upon or through the business premises of any person who sells or offers for sale gasoline or other petroleum products for use in motor vehicles or motor boats or any place where such gasoline or petroleum products is stored, for the purposes of making inspections, taking samples and conducting tests to determine compliance with the provisions of this subchapter or any rules* or regulation promulgated hereunder.
  2. Whenever the commissioner has reason to believe that a violation of this subchapter or any rule or regulation has occurred, he or she shall be authorized to make such investigation as he or she shall deem necessary, and to the extent necessary for this purpose, he or she may examine any person and may compel the production of all relevant records.
  3. Any person subject to the provisions of this subchapter shall maintain such written records as the commissioner may prescribe by regulation.

§ 20-674 Violations.

    1. Any person who violates the provisions of this subchapter or any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, other than sections 20-673.1 and 20-673.2 and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

   (2) Any person who violates the provisions of this subchapter or any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, other than sections 20-673.1 and 20-673.2 and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, who has been found guilty of a violation of any such sections or such rules or regulations two times within the preceding twenty-four month period shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars nor more than fifteen thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

   (3) In addition to the penalties prescribed by paragraph one of subdivision a of this section, any person who violates the provisions of this subchapter or any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, other than sections 20-673.1 and 20-673.2 and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars.

   (4) In addition to the penalties prescribed by paragraph two of subdivision a of this section, any person who violates the provisions of this subchapter or any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, other than sections 20-673.1 and 20-673.2 and any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, who has been found guilty of a violation of any such sections or such rules or regulations two times within the preceding twenty-four month period shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars nor more than fifteen thousand dollars.

  1. Any person who violates the provisions of section 20-673.1 of this subchapter or any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars.
    1.    If, after providing due notice and an opportunity to be heard, the commissioner finds that a person has violated any of the provisions of section 20-673.2 of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, he or she shall be authorized to issue and serve upon such person an order requiring such person to cease and desist from engaging in the prohibited activity. Such order shall become final (i) upon the expiration of the time allowed for filing any administrative appeal which may be available and for commencing a proceeding pursuant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules or (ii) upon the exhaustion of all appeals arising out of the proceedings described in item (i) of this paragraph. Any person who violates an order of the commissioner issued hereunder after it has become final shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars for each violation.

   (2) Any person who violates the provisions of section 20-673.2 of this subchapter or any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder with actual knowledge or knowledge fairly implied on the basis of objective circumstances that the act or practice underlying the violation is unfair or deceptive shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars; provided, however, that in order for any retailer to be held liable under this paragraph for violating any of the provisions of subdivisions d or e of such section 20-673.2, such retailer shall be shown to have had actual knowledge that the act or practice underlying the violation is unfair or deceptive. In determining the amount of any civil penalty imposed under this paragraph, the following shall be considered: the degree of culpability; any history of prior such conduct; ability to pay; effect on ability to continue to do business; and such other matters as justice may require.

  1. In the case of a violation through continuing failure to comply with any of the provisions of this subchapter, any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, or any order of the commissioner issued pursuant to subdivision c of this section, each day of the continuance of such failure shall be treated as a separate violation.
  2. The civil penalties prescribed by the provisions of this section may be imposed by the commissioner after due notice and an opportunity to be heard have been provided or may be recovered in a civil action in the name of the city, commenced in a court of competent jurisdiction. In any civil action commenced to recover civil penalties for violation of a final order of the commissioner issued pursuant to subdivision c of this section, the supreme court of New York is empowered to grant such injunctive or equitable relief as the court deems appropriate in the enforcement of such final order.
  3. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the commissioner shall cause to be published in the City Record once each month the name and business location of any person, firm or corporation that has been found to have violated any provision of sections 20-673.1 or 20-673.2 during the month immediately preceding.

§ 20-675 Rules and regulations.

The commissioner shall have the authority to promulgate such rules and regulations as the commissioner shall deem necessary to effectuate the purpose of this subchapter, including but not limited to the size, the composition, the type size to be used for lettering, and the placement of signs which are provided for in section 20-672 of this subchapter.

Subchapter 6: Sale of Meats

§ 20-676 Definitions.

As used in this subchapter, the following terms shall mean and include:

  1. “Pickled.” Preserved by soaking in a curing solution.
  2. “Pumped.” Injected with a curing solution through the veins, arteries or muscular structure.
  3. “Curing solution.” A liquid solution for the pickling or curing of meats.

§ 20-677 Sales at retail.

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale, at retail, any pickled, pumped, cured, or otherwise processed meats or meat products which shall contain added curing solution or any other liquid more than ten percent, by weight, of the total weight of the meat, except that pickled, pumped, cured, or otherwise processed beef brisket shall not contain more than twenty percent, by weight, of added curing solution or any other liquid.

§ 20-678 Sales at wholesale.

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, or offer for sale at wholesale, any pickled, pumped, cured, or otherwise processed meats or meat products which shall contain added curing solution or any other liquid more than ten percent, by weight, of the total weight of the meat, except that pickled, pumped, cured, or otherwise processed beef brisket shall not contain more than twenty percent, by weight, of added curing solution or any other liquid.

§ 20-679 Injection devices.

It shall be unlawful for any person to have in or upon any vehicle transporting meat and meat products within the city of New York, any hypodermic, syringe, pump, or other device that can be used for the injection or pumping of any fluid or other substance into the meat.

§ 20-680 Labeling of pickled, pumped and cured meats and meat products.

All pickled, pumped and cured meat and meat products shall be labeled as to net weight and shall specify the percentage, by weight, of added curing solution.

§ 20-681 Punishment.

(a) Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be liable to forfeit and pay a civil penalty in the sum of not more than one hundred dollars for each violation.
  1. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be guilty of an offense and punishable by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars, for each offense, or by imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days, or both.

Subchapter 7: Sale of Prepackaged Meat

§ 20-682 Sales of prepackaged meats.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any owner, manager, or supervisor of a retail store or any independently operated department within, to sell or offer or expose for sale, at retail any prepackaged unprocessed or untreated fresh or frozen meat unless at least one of the sides with the greatest surface area of the package is colorless and transparent, exclusive of labeling; which labeling shall not occupy more than ten percent of that side of the package, or six and one quarter (6.25) square inches, whichever is greater. This section shall be applicable solely in those cases where the packaging is performed on the premises of the sale. This section shall not apply to the sale of ground meat.
  2. A sign shall be posted at the point of display of any prepackaged unprocessed or untreated fresh or frozen meat, the packaging of which is colorless and transparent on only one side in accordance with the provisions of subdivision a of this section, stating that the retailer shall accept the return of such prepackaged meat found to be unsatisfactory upon the request of a consumer who provides proof of purchase and further stating that the retailer shall either refund the full purchase price or provide a satisfactory replacement for such purchase. The size and wording of such sign shall be determined by rule of the commissioner.

§ 20-683 Punishment.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be liable to forfeit and pay a civil penalty in the sum of not more than five hundred dollars for each violation.

Subchapter 8: Perishable Foods

§ 20-684 Legislative intent.

The council finds that consumers cannot be certain that food offered for sale is fresh or that it will remain fresh for a reasonable period of time after it is purchased. The council particularly recognizes consumer concern with the freshness of foods including, but not limited to, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, fruit, vegetables and baked goods. The council further finds that the food industry’s practice of controlling food freshness through coded dates has proven inadequate for protection of the public. The council has concluded that a mandatory system of clear and legible dating accompanied by a statement of recommended conditions of storage is the best way to assure consumers of the freshness of the foods that they buy in stores.

§ 20-685 Perishable foods.

It shall be unlawful to sell or offer for sale any perishable food designated by the commissioner in accordance with section 20-686 hereof unless there is stamped, printed or otherwise plainly and conspicuously marked on the top cover or principal panel of its container or any label affixed thereto the statements indicating recommended conditions and methods of storage, and the fact that it is not to be sold after a clearly specified date for human consumption as food.

§ 20-686 Regulations.

The commissioner shall promulgate regulations designating those perishable foods which shall come within the scope of section 20-685 of this subchapter wherever the commissioner shall find that because of the nature of the commodity, the mode of packaging or other consideration, such information about the commodity shall be necessary and proper to provide adequate information to the consumer as to the perishable nature of such commodity and conditions of storage.

§ 20-687 Powers of the commissioner.

(a) The commissioner shall receive and evaluate complaints and initiate his or her own investigations relating to these matters and take appropriate action related thereto including stop-sale and stop-removal orders where necessary and proper.
  1. The commissioner shall have the power after reasonable notice and hearing, to determine the reasonableness of any statement or representation as to the date and conditions of storage affixed pursuant to section 20-685 of this subchapter.

§ 20-688 Penalties.

Any person, firm, corporation or association or agent or employee thereof, who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter or of the regulations promulgated pursuant to section 20-686 shall pay a civil penalty of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for each violation; and shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for each such violation.

Subchapter 9: Water Saving Plumbing Fixtures

§ 20-689 Water saving plumbing fixtures.

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale any plumbing fixture that does not comply with section 604.4 of the New York city plumbing code.
  1. All product packaging containing such fixtures shall include the following information:

   i. the manufacturer’s name or registered trademark and the model number of the fixture or fixtures; and

   ii. the gallon/liter water consumption rate per flush of a water closet or urinal; and

   iii. a. “Water Use Guide” label that is designed for the purpose of educating and promoting water and water-related cost savings; the label shall state the monthly and yearly cost of the fixture based on the average monthly and yearly usage and the cost of water and sewer service per thousand gallons for the range of water rates existing in the city of New York.

§ 20-690 Punishment.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be liable to forfeit and pay a civil penalty in the sum of not more than five hundred dollars for each violation.

Subchapter 9: Price Displays

§ 20-691 Price displays.

  1. In any food store which has one or more cash registers with item cost indicators, said indicators shall at all times remain visible to customers making payment for items purchased or for services rendered.
  2. Cash registers purchased for use in food stores in the city on and after the effective date of this section shall have item cost indicators and shall comply with the requirements of subdivision a hereof.
  3. For the purpose of this section, “food store” shall be defined as a store selling primarily food and food products, cosmetics or toiletries at retail, for consumption or use off the premises.
  4. For the purposes of this section, “food” and “food products” shall be defined as all material, solid, liquid or mixed, whether simple or compound, used or intended for consumption by human beings or domestic animals normally kept as household pets and all substances or ingredients to be added thereto for any purpose.
  5. For the purposes of this section, “cash register” shall be defined as any business machine designed for the prupose of, or which may be used for, the aggregation of several items or units of measure in number form as a total selling price. Cash register shall include, but not be limited to, devices which have a cash drawer or other cash receptacle or depository.
  6. For the purposes of this section “item cost indicators” shall be defined as any indicator either built in to a cash register or appurtenant thereto, which mechanically or electronically, or in any other way, indicates or displays the price charged for each item or unit of measure purchased.

§ 20-692 Punishment.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of subdivisions a or b of section 20-691 shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one hundred fifty dollars for each violation.

  1. Each day a violation is continued shall constitute a separate violation.

§ 20-693 Rules and regulations.

The commissioner shall promulgate such rules and regulations as he or she shall deem necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subchapter.

Subchapter 10: thermal-shock Protection Devices

§ 20-694 Thermal-Shock Protection Devices.

It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute, sell, offer for sale or import any water supply control valve which does not meet the standards of subdivision P107.6 of section P107.0 of the appendix to chapter one of title twenty-seven of this code.

§ 20-695 Penalty.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each violation.

Subchapter 11: Gauges Utilizing Mercury

§ 20-696 Gauges Utilizing Mercury.

It shall be unlawful for any person to distribute, sell or offer for sale any gauge that utilizes mercury to test the pressure of gas piping, drainage or vent systems or for any person to distribute, sell or offer for sale replacement mercury for use in such gauges.

§ 20-697 Penalty.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for each violation.

Subchapter 12: Endangered Or Threatened Species

§ 20-698 Definitions.

Whenever used in this subchapter:

  1. “Endangered or threatened species” shall mean any fish or wildlife family, genus, species, subspecies or population that is designated by or pursuant to New York law as endangered or threatened.
  2. “Fish or wildlife” shall mean any member of the animal kingdom, including without limitation any mammal, fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod or other invertebrate, and includes any part, product, egg, or offspring thereof, or the dead body or parts thereof.
  3. “Population” shall mean a group of fish or wildlife of the same species or subspecies inhabiting a defined geographical area.

§ 20-699 Prohibition.

  1. Except with a federal or state permit or license or under any exception under federal or state law, it shall be unlawful to buy or sell, offer or attempt to buy or sell, or cause any person to buy or sell:

   (1) any product, item, or substance described in an offer for sale, labeled, or advertised as derived from any endangered or threatened species, or described in an offer for sale, labeled, or advertised as containing any substance derived from any endangered or threatened species; or

   (2) any product, item, or substance that is intended for human consumption or application and is described in an offer for sale, labeled, or advertised as derived from any species of rhinoceros or tiger, or described in an offer for sale, labeled, or advertised as containing any substance derived from any species of rhinoceros or tiger; or

   (3) any species described in an offer for sale, labeled, or advertised as any endangered or threatened species.

  1. It shall be unlawful to include false or misleading information in any offer for sale, label, or advertisement for any endangered or threatened species or any product, item, or substance derived from or containing any substance derived from any endangered or threatened species. For the purposes of this subchapter, any omission of or failure to state a material fact shall be considered inclusion of false or misleading information.
  2. The prohibitions of this subchapter shall apply to any offer for sale, label or advertisement that refers to any endangered or threatened species by its common name or by its scientific name.

§ 20-699.1 Publication of endangered and threatened species list.

No later than April 1, 2005, and at least annually thereafter, the commissioner shall publish a list using the department’s website for the purpose of ensuring compliance by merchants with the provisions of this subchapter. Such list shall include guidance regarding the identification of any fish or wildlife family, genus, species, subspecies or population designated by or pursuant to New York law as endangered or threatened and shall also separately specify whether all populations of any family or genus so identified are designated as endangered or threatened by or pursuant to New York law. Such list shall be published in English and Chinese.

§ 20-699.2 Penalties.

Any person that violates any provision of section 20-699 after October 1, 2005 shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for the first violation and each additional violation occurring on the same day as the first violation, and not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand five hundred dollars for each subsequent violation occurring within a period of twenty-four months.

§ 20-699.3 Seizure and forfeiture.

Any product, item, substance, or species bought or sold, or attempted to be bought or sold, after October 1, 2005 in violation of section 20-699 or any regulation issued pursuant to this subchapter shall be subject to forfeiture upon notice and judicial determination.

§ 20-699.4 Rules.

The commissioner shall have the authority to promulgate such rules and regulations as the commissioner shall deem necessary to implement the provisions of this subchapter.

§ 20-699.5 Enforcement.

The commissioner and the members of the police department shall have the authority to enforce this subchapter.

§ 20-699.6 Hearing authority.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall be authorized, after October 1, 2005, upon due notice and hearing, to impose civil penalties for the violation of any provision of this subchapter. The department shall have the power to render decisions and orders and to impose civil penalties not to exceed the amounts specified in section 20-699.2 of this subchapter for each such violation. All proceedings authorized pursuant to this subdivision shall be conducted in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner. The remedies and penalties provided for in this subdivision shall be in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided for the enforcement of such provisions under any other law including, but not limited to, civil or criminal actions or proceedings.

(2)*   All such proceedings shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of notices of violation. The notice of violation or copy thereof when filled in and served shall constitute notice of the violation charged, and, if sworn to or affirmed, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. In addition to serving the notice on the person being charged, where written authorization is filed with the department, the department shall deliver by first class mail a copy of the notice to the corporate headquarters or wholesale supplier of such person.

  • Editor’s note: so in original; there is no subdivision (1).

Chapter 5: Unfair Trade Practices

Subchapter 1: Consumer Protection Law

§ 20-700 Unfair trade practices prohibited.

No person shall engage in any deceptive or unconscionable trade practice in the sale, lease, rental or loan or in the offering for sale, lease, rental, or loan of any consumer goods or services, or in the collection of consumer debts.

§ 20-701 Definitions.

  1. Deceptive trade practice. Any false, falsely disparaging, or misleading oral or written statement, visual description or other representation of any kind made in connection with the sale, lease, rental or loan or in connection with the offering for sale, lease, rental, or loan of consumer goods or services, or in the extension of consumer credit or in the collection of consumer debts, which has the capacity, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading consumers. Deceptive trade practices include but are not limited to: (1) representations that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, accessories, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have; the supplier has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection that he or she does not have; goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, or secondhand; or, goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, grade, style or model, if they are of another; (2) the use, in any oral or written representation, of exaggeration, innuendo or ambiguity as to a material fact or failure to state a material fact if such use deceives or tends to deceive; (3) disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representations of material facts; (4) offering goods or services with intent not to sell them as offered; (5) offering goods or services with intent not to supply reasonable expectable public demand, unless the offer discloses to limitation of quantity; and (6) making false or misleading representations of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of, or amounts of price reductions, or price in comparison to prices of competitors or one’s own price at a past or future time; (7) stating that a consumer transaction involves consumer rights, remedies or obligations that it does not involve; (8) stating that services, replacements or repairs are needed if they are not; and (9) falsely stating the reasons for offering or supplying goods or services at scale discount prices.
  2. Unconscionable trade practice. Any act or practice in connection with the sale, lease, rental or loan or in connection with the offering for sale, lease, rental or loan of any consumer goods or services, or in the extension of consumer credit, or in the collection of consumer debts which unfairly takes advantage of the lack of knowledge, ability, experience or capacity of a consumer; or results in a gross disparity between the value received by a consumer and the price paid, to the consumer’s detriment; provided that no act or practice shall be deemed unconscionable under this subchapter unless declared unconscionable and described with reasonable particularity in a local law, or in a rule or regulation promulgated by the commissioner. In promulgating such rules and regulations the commissioner shall consider among other factors: (1) knowledge by merchants engaging in the act or practice of the inability of consumers to receive properly anticipated benefits from the goods or services involved; (2) gross disparity between the price of goods or services and their value measured by the price at which similar goods or services are readily obtained by other consumers; (3) the fact that the acts or practices may enable merchants to take advantage of the inability of consumers reasonably to protect their interests by reason of physical or mental infirmities, illiteracy or inability to understand the language of the agreement, ignorance or lack of education, or similar factors; (4) the degree to which terms of the transaction require consumers to waive legal rights; (5) the degree to which terms of the transaction require consumers to jeopardize money or property beyond the money or property immediately at issue in the transaction; and (6) definitions of unconscionability in statutes, regulations, rulings and decisions of legislative, or judicial bodies in this state or elsewhere.
  3. Consumer goods, services, credit and debts. As used in section 20-700 of this subchapter and subdivisions a and b of this section, goods, services, credit and debts which are primarily for personal, household or family purposes.
  4. Consumer. A purchaser or lessee or prospective purchaser or lessee of the consumer goods or services or consumer credit, including a co-obligor or surety.
  5. Merchant. A seller, lessor, or creditor or any other person who makes available either directly or indirectly, goods, services or credit, to consumers. “Merchant” shall include manufacturers, wholesalers and others who are responsible for any act or practice prohibited by this subchapter.

§ 20-702 Regulations.

The commissioner may adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subchapter, including regulations defining specific deceptive or unconscionable trade practices. Such rules and regulations may supplement but shall not be inconsistent with the rules, regulations and decisions of the federal trade commission and the federal courts in interpreting the provisions of section five (a) (1), the federal trade commission act 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1), or the decisions of the courts interpreting section three hundred fifty of the general business law and section 2-302 of the uniform commercial code.

§ 20-703 Enforcement.

  1. The violation of any provision of this subchapter or of any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, shall be punishable upon proof thereof, by the payment of a civil penalty in the sum of fifty dollars to three hundred and fifty dollars, to be recovered in a civil action.
  2. The knowing violation of any provision of this subchapter or of any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, shall be punishable upon conviction thereof, by the payment of a civil penalty in the sum of five hundred dollars, or as a violation for which a fine in the sum of five hundred dollars shall be imposed, or both.
  3. Upon a finding by the commissioner of repeated, multiple or persistent violation of any provision of this subchapter or of any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, the city may, except as hereinafter provided, bring an action to compel the defendant or defendants in such action to pay in court all monies, property or other things, or proceeds thereof, received as a result of such violations; to direct that the amount of money or the property or other things recovered be paid into an account established pursuant to section two thousand six hundred one of the civil practice law and rules from which shall be paid over to any and all persons who purchased the goods or services during the period of violation such sum as was paid by them in a transaction involving the prohibited acts or practices, plus any costs incurred by such claimants in making and pursuing their complaints; provided that if such claims exceed the sum recovered into the account, the awards to consumers shall be prorated according to the value of each claim proved; to direct the defendant or defendants, upon conviction, to pay to the city the costs, and disbursements of the action and pay to the city for the use of the commissioner the costs of his or her investigation leading to the judgment; or if not recovered from defendants, such costs are to be deducted by the city from the grand recovery before distribution to the consumers; and to direct that any money, property, or other things in the account and unclaimed by any persons with such claims within one year from creation of the account, be paid to the city, to be used by the commissioner for further consumer law enforcement activities. Consumers making claims against an account established pursuant to this subdivision shall prove their claims to the commissioner in a manner and subject to procedures established by the commissioner for that purpose. The procedures established in each case for proving claims shall not be employed until approved by the court, which shall also establish by order the minimum means by which the commissioner shall notify potential claimants of the creation of the account. Restitution pursuant to a judgment in an action under this subdivision shall bar, pro tanto, the recovery of any damages in any other action against the same defendant or defendants on account of the same acts or practices which were the basis for such judgment, up to the time of the judgment, by any person to whom such restitution is made. Restitution under this subdivision shall not apply to transactions entered into more than five years prior to commencement of an action by the commissioner. Before instituting an action under this subdivision, the commissioner shall give the prospective defendant written notice of the possible action, and an opportunity to demonstrate in writing within five days, that no repeated, multiple, or persistent violations have occurred.
  4. Whenever any person has engaged in any acts or practices which constitute violations of any provision of this subchapter or of any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, the city may make application to the supreme court for an order enjoining such acts or practices and for an order granting a temporary or permanent injunction, restraining order, or other order enjoining such acts or practices.
  5. To establish a cause of action under this section it need not be shown that consumers are being or were actually injured.

§ 20-704 Settlements.

  1. In lieu of instituting or continuing an action pursuant to this subchapter, the commissioner may accept written assurance of discontinuance of any act or practice in violation of this subchapter from the person or persons who have engaged in such acts or practices. Such assurance may include a stipulation for voluntary payment by the violator of the costs of investigation by the commissioner and may also include a stipulation for the restitution by the violator to consumers, of money, property or other things received from them in connection with a violation of this subchapter, including money necessarily expended in the course of making and pursuing a complaint to the commissioner. All settlements shall be made a matter of public record. If such stipulation applies to consumers who have been affected by the violator’s practices but have not yet complained to the commissioner, the assurance must be approved by the court, which shall direct the minimum means by which potential claimants shall be notified of the stipulation. A consumer need not accept restitution pursuant to such a stipulation; his or her acceptance shall bar recovery of any other damages in any action by him or her against the defendant or defendants on account of the same acts or practices.
  2. Violation of an assurance entered into pursuant to this section shall be treated as a violation of this subchapter and shall be subject to all the penalties provided therefor.

§ 20-705 Persons excluded from this subchapter.

Nothing in this subchapter shall apply to any television or radio broadcasting station or to any publisher or printer of a newspaper, magazine, or other form of printed advertising, who broadcasts, publishes, or prints such advertisement, except insofar as said station or publisher or printer is guilty of deception on the sale or offering for sale of its own services. This subchapter shall not apply to advertising agencies, provided they are acting on information provided by their clients.

§ 20-706 Permitted practices.

The provisions of this subchapter shall be construed so as to supplement the rules, regulations, and decisions of the federal trade commission and the courts interpreting 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1), but the provisions of this subchapter shall in no instance be interpreted in a manner inconsistent with the rules, regulations and decisions of the federal trade commission and the courts interpreting 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1).

§ 20-706.1 Outreach and education on consumer protection issues for young adults.

The commissioner shall establish and engage in outreach and education efforts that are tailored to individuals ages sixteen to twenty-four. Such outreach and education shall concern consumer issues that are likely to affect individuals ages sixteen to twenty-four including, but not limited to: (a) credit card debt; (b) student loans; and (c) leasing or purchasing a motor vehicle. Such outreach and education shall also provide information related to the department’s office of financial empowerment and its financial education providers. The outreach and education required by this section shall commence on September 1, 2015 and shall include educational materials that shall be made available on the department’s website, and submitted to the chancellor of the New York city department of education and the chancellor of the city university of New York no later than September 1, 2015. The educational materials made available on the department’s website pursuant to this section shall be made available in English and in the six languages most commonly spoken by limited English proficient individuals in the city as determined by the department of city planning. The commissioner shall update the educational materials made available on the department’s website on an annual basis and submit such updated materials each year to the chancellor of the New York city department of education and the chancellor of the city university of New York.

§ 20-706.2 Business education events.

    1. The commissioner shall organize and conduct business education events during which the department shall provide local businesses with information regarding the laws and rules that are enforced by the department. The commissioner of small business services shall support the department in the organization and operation of such business education events.

   2. Such business education events shall occur in at least two separate locations within each borough on an annual basis. The first such business education event shall commence on or before June 30, 2015.

   3. Each business education event shall either focus on a particular industry that is licensed or regulated by the department, or shall focus on one or more of the laws and rules that are relevant to multiple industries and enforced by the department, provided that, information relating to all laws and rules that are enforced by the department, including but not limited to the licensing laws contained in chapter two of title 20 of the administrative code, the consumer protection law contained in this subchapter, and the truth in pricing law contained in subchapter two of chapter five of title 20 of the administrative code, shall be included as a part of at least one business education event each year.

   4. Any lectures or educational materials designed for the purposes of conducting such business education events shall be made available in English and in the six languages most commonly spoken by limited English proficient individuals, as those languages are determined by the department of city planning. Such educational materials shall be available on the department’s website.

  1. On June 30, 2016, and annually thereafter, the department shall submit to the speaker of the council a report related to the business education events held during the prior 12 month period. Such report shall include, but not be limited to: (i) the number of business education events held; (ii) the location of each business education event; (iii) the number of participants in each business education event disaggregated by location; and (iv) a summary of the information provided to participants.

§ 20-706.3 Outreach and education on consumer protection for seniors.

  1. Definitions. For purposes of this section:

   Naturally Occurring Retirement Community. The term “naturally occurring retirement community” means an apartment building, housing complex, or housing development, as identified by the department for the aging: (i) that was not originally built for senior citizens; (ii) that is not restricted in admissions solely to seniors; and (iii) where at least 2,500 senior citizens reside or at least 50 percent of the dwelling units are occupied by one or more senior citizens.

   Senior Center. The term “senior center” shall have the same meaning as provided by section 21-201.

  1. The commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner for the aging, shall establish and engage in outreach and education efforts that are tailored to individuals ages 60 years and older. Such outreach and education shall relate to consumer issues that are likely to affect individuals ages 60 and older including, but not limited to: (i) telemarketing and internet fraud; (ii) social security, medicare and healthcare fraud; (iii) reverse mortgage products; and (iv) investment schemes. Such outreach and education shall also provide information related to the department’s office of financial empowerment and its financial education providers, as well as information on how to report fraudulent activity. The outreach and education required by this section shall commence on December 1, 2016 and shall include, but not be limited to, educational materials that shall be made available on the department’s website on or before such date, and submitted to the commissioner for the aging no later than December 1, 2016. The educational materials made available on the department’s website pursuant to this section shall be made available in English and in the six languages most commonly spoken by limited English proficient individuals in the city as determined by the department of city planning. The commissioner shall review the educational materials made available on the department’s website, update the educational materials as needed, and submit any such updated materials to the commissioner for the aging annually as needed.
  2. The commissioner for the aging shall make best efforts to ensure that the materials required by subdivision b of this section are made available at every senior center and naturally occurring retirement community as soon as practicable.

§ 20-706.4 Outreach and education program for immigrants relating to consumer protection.

  1. Definitions. For purposes of this section:

   IDNYC. The term “IDNYC” means the New York city identity card established pursuant to section 3-115.

   ITIN. The term “ITIN” means an individual taxpayer identification number issued by the internal revenue service for the purpose of filing federal taxes.

  1. By December 1, 2016, the commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner of the mayor’s office of immigrant affairs, shall establish and implement an outreach and education program to promote the financial stability and success of immigrants. Such outreach and education program shall relate to access to consumer and financial products and services, and protection from risks and frauds to which certain immigrant consumers may be particularly vulnerable, including but not limited to identifying: (i) financial institutions that accept the IDNYC or ITIN for purposes of opening a bank account; (ii) risks and consequences to consumers of using non-bank institutions such as check cashers, money transfer companies and other similar financial institutions; (iii) state and local laws regulating employment and immigration assistance services; (iv) federal and state laws regulating tax preparers; and (v) local institutions that offer preferred products and services to immigrants and immigrant communities, such as community-based organizations, credit unions and other community development financial institutions.
  2. Such outreach and education program shall also provide information related to the office of financial empowerment and its financial education providers. The outreach and education program shall include the production of educational materials that shall be made available on the department’s website and submitted to the commissioner of the mayor’s office of immigrant affairs. The educational materials made available on the department’s website pursuant to this section shall be made available in English and in the six languages most commonly spoken by limited English proficient individuals in the city as determined by the department of city planning. The commissioner shall review the educational materials made available on the department’s website on an annual basis, update the educational material as needed, and submit such updated materials each year to the commissioner of the mayor’s office of immigrant affairs on or before December 1 of each year.

§ 20-706.5 Consumer protection outreach and education program for women.

By December 1, 2016, the commissioner, in consultation with the commission on gender equity, the mayor’s office to end domestic and gender-based violence, and other city agencies as appropriate, shall establish and implement an outreach and education program to promote women’s financial independence, stability and success. Such program shall provide information on issues that typically and especially affect vulnerable populations, including but not limited to the following: (i) short- and long-term financial planning, including planning for retirement; (ii) navigation of public benefits programs; (iii) the prevalence of gender-based pricing; and (iv) deceptive business practices and predatory consumer and financial products. Such outreach and education program shall also provide information related to the office of financial empowerment and its financial education providers. The outreach and education program required by this section shall include the production of educational materials that shall be made available on the department’s website and submitted to the commission on gender equity and the mayor’s office to end domestic and gender-based violence. Such educational materials shall be made available in English and in the six languages most commonly spoken by limited English proficient individuals in the city as determined by the department of city planning. The commissioner shall review the educational materials made available on the department’s website on an annual basis, update the educational material as needed, and submit such updated material to the commission on gender equity, the mayor’s office to end domestic and gender-based violence, and other city agencies as appropriate on or before December 1 of each year.

Subchapter 2: Truth-in-pricing Law

§ 20-707 Definitions.

(a) "Consumer commodity" shall be defined as 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. For the purposes of this subchapter, drugs, medicines and cosmetics shall not be considered consumer commodities.
  1. “Price per measure” shall be defined as the retail price of a consumer commodity expressed in terms of the retail price of such commodity per such unit of weight, standard measure or standard number of units as the commissioner shall designate by regulation.

§ 20-708 Display of total selling price by tag or sign.

All consumer commodities, sold, exposed for sale or offered for sale at retail except those items subject to section 20-708.1 of this code, shall have conspicuously displayed, at the point of exposure or offering for sale, the total selling price exclusive of tax by means of (a) a stamp, tag or label attached to the item or (b) by a sign at the point of display which indicates the item to which the price refers, provided that this information is plainly visible at the point of display for sale of the items so indicated. This section shall not apply to consumer commodities displayed in the window of the seller.

§ 20-708.1 Item pricing.

  1. Definitions. The following terms shall have the following meanings for the purpose of this section:

   1. “Stock keeping unit”, known in the industry as “SKU”, shall mean each group of items offered for sale of the same brand name, quantity of contents, retail price, and variety within the following categories:

      (a) Food, including all material, solid, liquid or mixed, whether simple or compound, used or intended for consumption by human beings or domestic animals normally kept as household pets and all substances or ingredients to be added thereto for any purpose;

      (b) Napkins, facial tissues, toilet tissues, paper towelling and any disposable wrapping or container for the storage, handling, serving, or disposal of food;

      (c) Detergents, soaps and other cleansing agents; and

      (d) Non-prescription drugs, feminine hygiene products and health and beauty aids.

   2. “Stock keeping item” shall mean each individual item of a stock keeping unit offered for sale. This shall include two or more pieces packaged for sale together.

   3. “Retail store” shall mean a store engaged in selling stock keeping units at retail. A store which is not open to the general public but is reserved for use by its members shall come within the provisions of this definition unless the members must pay a direct fee to the store to qualify for membership and the store is not required to collect sales tax on transactions with members. A retail store shall not include any store which:

      (a) Has as its only full-time employee the owner thereof, or the parent, spouse, domestic partner or child of the owner, and in addition thereto not more than two full-time employees; or

      (b) Had annual gross sales of stock keeping items in the previous calendar year of less than two million dollars, unless the retail store is part of a network of subsidiaries, affiliates or other member stores, under direct or indirect common control, which, as a group, had annual gross sales of stock keeping items in the previous calendar year of two million dollars or more; or

      (c) Engages primarily in the sale of food for consumption on the premises or in a specialty trade which the commissioner determines, by rule, would be inappropriate for item pricing.

   4. “Item price” shall mean the tag, stamp or mark affixed to a stock keeping item which sets forth, in arabic numerals, the retail price thereof.

   5. “Advertised price” shall mean the price of a stock keeping unit which a retail store has caused to be disseminated by means of promotional methods such as an in-store sign, or newspaper, circular, television or radio advertising.

   6. “Shelf price” shall mean the tag or sign placed at each point of display of a stock keeping unit, which clearly sets forth the retail price of the stock keeping items within that stock keeping unit.

   7. “Computer-assisted checkout system” shall mean any electronic device, computer system or machine which indicates the selling price of a stock keeping item by interpreting its universal product code, or an in-house product code, or by use of its price look-up function.

   8. “Price look-up function” shall mean the capability of any checkout system to determine the retail price of a stock keeping item by way of the manual entry into the system of a code number assigned to that particular stock keeping unit by the retail store or by way of the checkout operator’s consultation of a file maintained at the point of sale.

   9. “Inspector” shall mean the commissioner or his or her designee.

  1. Item pricing required. Except as provided in subdivision c of this section, every person, firm, partnership, corporation or association which sells, offers for sale or exposes for sale in a retail store, a stock keeping unit, shall disclose to the consumer the item price of each stock keeping item, by causing the item price to be conspicuously, clearly and plainly marked, stamped, tagged or affixed thereto.
  2. Certain items exempted. The following stock keeping items need not be item priced as provided in subdivision b of this section provided that a shelf price and a price look-up function are maintained for such stock keeping items:

   1. Milk.

   2. Stock keeping items which are under three cubic inches in size, and weigh less than three ounces, and are priced under one dollar.

   3. Eggs.

   4. Fresh produce not packaged for final retail sale.

   5. Products sold through a vending machine.

   6. Food sold for consumption on the premises.

   7. Snack foods such as cakes, gum, candies, chips and nuts offered for sale in single packages and weighing five ounces or less.

   8. Cigarettes, cigars, tobacco and tobacco products.

   9. Food offered for sale in bulk.

   10. Frozen juice.

   11. Ice cream.

   12. Frozen foods packaged for final retail sale in plastic bags.

   13. Stock keeping items on sale for one week or less, where such stock keeping items are not otherwise item priced, are located in a segregated display at the end of an aisle, and the sale period, the name of the product and the advertised price are clearly and conspicuously posted on a sign at the point of display. Failure to display this information shall be deemed a deceptive practice under section 20-701 of this code.

   14. Baby food packaged in jars.

  1. Scanner accuracy. In a retail store with a laser scanning or other computer-assisted checkout system, an inspector shall be permitted to compare the disclosed retail price of any one stock keeping item within any stock keeping unit sold in the retail store, whether or not exempt under subdivision c of this section, not to exceed five hundred stock keeping items at any one inspection, with the programmed computer price. The retail store shall provide such access to the computer as is necessary for the inspector to make the determination. The inspector shall also make note of undercharges on the inspection report. In the event that the programmed computer price exceeds the lowest price a retail store is permitted to charge for a stock keeping item under subdivision e of this section, this shall be deemed a deceptive practice under section 20-701 of this code.
  2. Price accuracy. No retail store shall charge a retail price for any stock keeping item, whether or not exempt under subdivision c of this section, which exceeds the lower of any item, shelf, sale or advertised price of such stock keeping item.
  3. Enforcement, penalties.

   1. Upon the request of an inspector, the retail store representatives shall afford the inspector access to the test mode of the checkout system in use at that retail store or to a comparable function of such system and to the retail price information contained in a price look-up function. No more than one inspection shall be conducted in any twenty-four hour period.

   2. In addition to the enforcement powers prescribed in sections 20-703 and 20-704 of this code, the commissioner may, upon due notice, hold hearings to determine whether violations of the provisions of this section have occurred. Such notice shall contain a concise statement of the facts constituting the alleged violation and shall set forth the date, time and place of the hearing. Upon a finding of a violation of the provisions of this section, the commissioner shall be authorized to impose a civil penalty as follows:

      (a) upon inspection, up to $25 for the first 20 violations and up to $50 for each successive violation, total violations not to exceed $2,000, except that a retail store shall not be subject to the civil penalty described above for a first-time violation or first-time violations of subdivision b of this section or any rule promulgated thereunder if such retail store proves to the satisfaction of the department, within 30 days of the issuance of the notice of violation or notices of violation and prior to the commencement of an adjudication of such notice or notices, that the violation or violations have been cured. The submission of proof of a cure shall be deemed an admission of liability for all purposes. The option of presenting proof that the violation or violations have been cured shall be offered as part of any settlement offer made by the department to a retail store that has received a notice of violation or notices of violation for a first-time violation or first-time violations of subdivision b of this section or any rule promulgated thereunder. The department shall permit such proof to be submitted electronically or in person. A retail store may seek review, in the department, of the determination that proof of a cure was not submitted within 15 days of receiving written notification of such determination.

      (b) upon a second or subsequent inspection within 60 days of a violation, up to $50 for the first 20 violations, and up to $100 for each successive violation, total violations issued not to exceed $8,000.

   3. Each failure to comply with subdivision b of this section with respect to any one stock keeping unit shall constitute a separate violation, provided, however, that no violation shall be found where less than five stock keeping items of a particular stock keeping unit lack clearly readable item prices. Following an initial inspection, each inspection that finds a continuing violation with respect to a particular stock keeping unit cited within the previous fourteen days shall constitute a separate continued violation.

  1. Rules. The commissioner may promulgate such rules as he or she may deem necessary or appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this section.

§ 20-709 Display of price per measure.

All consumer commodities designated by the commissioner in accordance with subdivision (a) of section 20-710 hereof exposed for sale or offered for sale shall be plainly marked by a stamp, tag, label or sign at the point of display with the appropriate price per measure; provided however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to any food store having had annual gross sales in the previous tax year of less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars, ($250,000) unless it is a part of a network of subsidiaries, affiliates, or other member stores, under direct or indirect common control, which, as a group, had annual gross sales in the previous tax year of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or more.

§ 20-710 Regulations.

(a) The commissioner after public hearings shall promulgate regulations designating those consumer commodities which shall come within the scope of section 20-709 of this subchapter whenever the commissioner shall find that, because of the nature, form, mode of packaging or other reason, such price display for that commodity shall be necessary and appropriate to provide adequate information to the consumer.
  1. The commissioner shall promulgate regulations exempting any class or classes of retail establishments from the requirements of section 20-709 hereof or modifying its application with respect to any class or classes of retail establishments to the extent that and under such conditions as are consistent with the policy of this subchapter whenever the commissioner shall find that, because of the nature of such class or classes of retail establishments, compliance with section 20-709 hereof is unreasonably burdensome or unnecessary for adequate protection of consumers.
  2. The commissioner shall promulgate such other regulations as shall be necessary in his or her discretion to effectuate the purposes of this subchapter, including but not limited to, requirements as to the manner of display of unit price information.

§ 20-711 Penalties.

Any person who shall violate the provisions of section 20-708 or section 20-709 hereof or rules promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, other than the provisions of section 20-708.1 or rules promulgated under such section, shall pay a civil penalty of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for each violation and shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for each violation. For the purposes of this section, each group of identical consumer commodities for which on any single day the total selling price or price per measure is not displayed in accordance with section 20-708 or section 20-709 or rules promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, other than the provisions of section 20-708.1 or rules promulgated under such section, shall be considered a single violation.

Subchapter 3: Posting of Prescription Drug Prices and Notices

§ 20-712 Definitions.

(a) "Current selling price" means the price to be paid by the purchaser to the pharmacy for a listed drug.
  1. “Prescription drugs” means any drug which may be dispensed only with a physician’s prescription.
  2. “Pharmacy” means any retail outlet selling prescription drugs within the city.
  3. “Emergency contraception” means one or more prescription drugs, used separately or in combination, to be administered to or self-administered by the patient in a dosage and manner for preventing pregnancy when used after intercourse, found safe and effective for that use by the United States food and drug administration, and dispensed for that purpose in accordance with professional standards of practice.

§ 20-713 Display of prescription drug prices.

Every pharmacy must post, at each counter over which prescription drugs are sold, a list conspicuously displaying the current selling price of the drugs designated on a form prescribed for that purpose by the department.

§ 20-713.1 Display of information relating to emergency contraception.

Any pharmacy that does not sell emergency contraception must conspicuously post, at or adjacent to each counter over which prescription drugs are sold, indicating in large type that emergency contraception is not sold at such pharmacy.

§ 20-714 Regulations.

(a) The commissioner shall promulgate regulations designating those prescription drugs which, because of the frequency with which they are prescribed, shall be posted pursuant to section 20-713. The commissioner may exempt from such regulation such drugs to the extent that, and under such conditions as are consistent with the policy of this subchapter whenever the commissioner shall find that, because of the nature of such prescription drugs, compliance with section 20-713 is unreasonably burdensome or unnecessary for adequate protection of consumers.
  1. The commissioner shall promulgate such other regulations as shall be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subchapter, including, but not limited to, requirements as to the manner of display of prescription drug prices.

§ 20-715 Penalties.

Any person who shall violate the provisions of section 20-713, section 20-713.1, or regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter shall pay a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for the first offense and for each succeeding offense a penalty of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than seven hundred fifty dollars for each such violation and shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for the first offense and for each succeeding offense a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than seven hundred fifty dollars for each such violation. For the purposes of this section, if on any single day the current selling price list is not displayed in accordance with section 20-713 or regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, or the required signage is not displayed in accordance with section 20-713.1 or regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, it shall be considered a single violation.

Subchapter 4: Information With Respect To Room Air Conditioners

§ 20-716 Legislative findings.

The council hereby finds that the demand for electricity in the city has been steadily growing; that the supply of electricity has on frequent occasions been inadequate fully to meet the demand therefor; that the distribution system of the public utility company serving most of the city has frequently been disrupted by heavy loads; that major brownouts and blackouts in various sections of the city have frequently resulted from such conditions, particularly in the summer; that there is no present basis for concluding that such conditions will not continue for the foreseeable future; that fifty percent of the annual summer growth in demand for electricity in the city is due to air conditioning, that forty percent of the peak summer demand for electricity in the city is attributable to air conditioning; that room air conditioners use a significant part of the electricity used for air conditioning in the city; that the amount of electricity used by room air conditioners of comparable cooling capacity varies widely; that most sellers of room air conditioners do not presently advertise, display or otherwise provide prospective purchasers information as to the amount or cost of electricity required to operate the various models of room air conditioners; that such information, if provided, would lead consumers to purchase more efficient models; that the growth in demand for electricity in the city, particularly in summer months, would thereby be slowed and there would be an amelioration of some of the conditions which lead to brownouts and blackouts. The council also finds that an adequate supply of electricity is vital to the health, safety and welfare of all persons in the city. Accordingly, the council further finds that, in order to conserve electricity, there is a need to provide prospective purchasers of room air conditioners with information with respect to the efficiency and cost of operation of such units.

§ 20-717 Definitions.

(a) "Room air conditioner" shall be defined as any electrical appliance which has a compressor, a condenser, an evaporator and a fan to cool and dehumidify the surrounding air and which is capable in ordinary usage of being mounted in a window or through a wall.
  1. “Cooling capacity rating” shall be defined as the quantity of heat in British thermal units which a room air conditioner is capable of removing in one hour.
  2. “Wattage rating” shall be defined as the number of watts of electricity necessary to obtain the cooling capacity rating of a room air conditioner.
  3. “Person” shall be defined as any individual, firm, company, partnership, corporation, association or other organization who is ordinarily engaged in the business of selling or offering for sale room air conditioners.

§ 20-718 Display of information.

Any person selling, offering for sale or displaying for sale any room air conditioner shall set forth by a stamp, tab, label or sign at the point of display the model number, cooling capacity rating, wattage rating and estimated yearly cost of electricity necessary to operate such room air conditioner.

§ 20-719 Furnishing information.

Upon request, any person selling or offering for sale any room air conditioner shall furnish to anyone who inquires about such room air conditioner information as to the model number, cooling capacity rating, wattage rating and estimated yearly cost of electricity necessary to operate such room air conditioner.

§ 20-720 Advertising.

Any person who advertises a room air conditioner for sale in the city shall include in any advertisement therefor the model number, cooling capacity rating, wattage rating and estimated yearly cost of electricity necessary to operate such room air conditioner.

§ 20-721 Regulations.

(a) The commissioner shall adopt regulations setting forth procedures for determining the cooling capacity rating, wattage rating and estimated yearly cost of electricity necessary to operate room air conditioners.
  1. In determining procedures for estimating the yearly cost of electricity necessary to operate room air conditioners, the commissioner may use such published electric rate or rates, hours of operation, and average thereof as he or she deems reasonable.

§ 20-722 Penalties.

Any person or agent or employee thereof who shall violate any provision of this subchapter or of the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for each day in which a violation occurs.

Subchapter 5: Representations In Advertising

§ 20-723 Representations in advertising.

No person, firm, corporation or association, or agent or employee thereof, doing business in New York city, who with intent to sell or in any way dispose of merchandise to the public through the media of a newspaper, magazine, circular, pamphlet, catalogue, store display, letter or handbill shall advertise, state, set forth, print, publish or cause directly or indirectly or permit directly or indirectly, so to be done in any of the aforesaid media, any of the following or anything approximating any of the following:

  1. That the merchandise offered as aforesaid is being offered at “wholesale price” or at “manufacturers’ cost” or “less than cost” or any similar language, unless such representations are true in fact; nor shall any such person, firm or corporation or association, or agent or employee thereof, doing business in New York city, offer for sale any product at a price purported to be reduced from what is a fictitious “list” or “selling” or “retailer’s suggested” price, or at a purported reduction in any such price when such purported reduction is in fact fictitious.
  2. That the merchandise offered as aforesaid is being offered on the basis of comparative prices or percentage savings, or similar or analogous claims by the use of such terms as “comparable value” or “comparable retail value,” without denoting, defining or describing the standard of comparison.
  3. That the merchandise offered as aforesaid is being offered as “made to sell for”, or being “worth” or “valued at,” a certain price greater or more than the price sought, or by the use of similar or analogous statements unless such claim or representation is true in fact.

§ 20-723.1 Advertising Disclosure Requirements for Lenders Promoting Payday Loan Services.

  1. Definitions. For purposes of this section:

   (1) “Payday loan”, also known as, among other terms, “deferred deposit advances,” “cash on demand” or “cash advance,” shall mean any transaction in which funds are provided to a consumer for a limited time period in exchange for (i) a consumer’s personal check or share draft, in the amount of the funds provided to the consumer plus a fee, where presentment or negotiation of such check or share draft is deferred by agreement of the parties until a designated future date; or (ii) a consumer’s authorization to debit the consumer’s transaction account, in the amount of the funds provided to the consumer plus a fee, where such account will be debited on or after a designated future date.

   (2) “Unit of advertising space” shall mean any real property, space, facility or instrumentality, or any portion thereof, owned or operated by the city of New York, or which is located or operates on real property owned or operated by the city of New York, and which is the subject of the same contract, lease, rental agreement, franchise, revocable consent, concession or other similar written agreement with the city of New York which allows the placement or display of advertisements, but not including any real property, space or facility leased from the city of New York for a term of thirty years or more during the entire term of the lease or any real property, space or facility leased from or to the industrial development agency.

  1. Any lender, bank or other financial institution that provides payday loan or grant services and which promotes its payday loan or grant services, however described or designated, via a unit or units of advertising space, and which, because of the application of other state or federal law, is exempt from the fee limitations of New York state, and charge interest, fees and other charges greater than those authorized in New York state, shall comply with the following disclosure requirements with respect to a unit or units of advertising space:

Advertisements shall disclose, in clear and prominent letter type, in a print color that contrasts with the background against which it appears, of at least a 20-point type size:

   i. the maximum annual percentage rates (APR) of the institution’s payday loans, computed in accordance with regulations adopted pursuant to the federal Truth-in-Lending Act; and

   ii. any membership fees, finance charges, annual fees, transaction fees, rollover costs, lender’s fees or any other possible charges that may be incurred by a consumer in relation to the institution’s payday loans, including any interest, fees and other charges due at the time of any loan renewal;

   iii. the state in which the lender/financial institution is chartered;

   iv. the fact that the consumer will be required to supply personal information to receive the institution’s payday loan, including information regarding his or her personal financial history;

   v. the fact that a fee schedule for all charges related to the institution’s payday loans will be available upon request;

   vi. a contact number, such as the New York state banking department’s Consumer Hotline, where a consumer/applicant can direct complaints against the lender/financial institution;

   vii. the name of the lender/financial institution offering the payday loan.

  1. Any person who is a party to an otherwise valid agreement with the city of New York in effect on the date of enactment of the local law that added this section shall not be subject to the requirements of this section for the term of such agreement. However, where such agreement provides for a right or rights of renewal for one or more periods upon the same terms and conditions or terms and conditions set forth in such agreement, the holder who is a party to such agreement or any agreements entered into pursuant to such right or rights of renewal shall be subject to the requirements of this section at the commencement of the first renewal period.
    1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall be authorized upon due notice and hearing, to impose civil penalties for the violation of any provision of this section. The department shall have the power to render decisions and orders and to impose civil penalties not to exceed the amounts specified in section 20-726 of this subchapter for each such violation. All proceedings authorized pursuant to this paragraph shall be conducted in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner. The remedies and penalties provided for in this paragraph shall be in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided for the enforcement of such provisions under any other law including, but not limited to, civil or criminal actions or proceedings.

   (2) All such proceedings shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of notices of violation. The notice of violation or copy thereof when filled in and served shall constitute notice of the violation charged, and, if sworn to or affirmed, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein.

§ 20-723.2 Disclosure Requirements for Businesses Promoting Credit Counseling Services.

  1. Definitions. For purposes of this section:

   (1) “Credit counselor” shall mean any person, partnership, firm, corporation or business entity advertising, promoting, or offering the type or category of credit counseling services required to be received as a pre-condition for filing a petition for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, including, but not limited to, consideration of alternatives to resolve a client’s credit problems and an analysis of the client’s budget, current financial condition, factors that caused such financial condition, and how such client can develop a plan to respond to the problems without incurring negative amortization of debt.

   (2) “Approved credit counselor” shall mean a credit counselor listed in the directory of authorized nonprofit budget and credit counseling service providers promulgated pursuant to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.

    1. Any person, partnership, firm, corporation or business entity promoting or offering the services of a credit counselor, notwithstanding whether such person, partnership, firm, corporation or business entity accepts a fee for such services, shall provide written notice to any potential or actual consumer when such person, partnership, corporation, firm or business is not an approved credit counselor.

   (2) Such notice, to be signed by any potential or actual consumer, shall include, but not be limited to, the following provisions:

      i. that the federal Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 created an approval process for nonprofit budget and credit counseling agencies that provide an evaluation of your current financial situation, a discussion on alternatives to bankruptcy and a personal budget plan;

      ii. that to be approved by the United States Trustee and added to the directory of approved credit counselors, a credit counselor must satisfactorily demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005;

      iii. that such credit counselor is not approved to offer bankruptcy counseling services pursuant to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005;

      iv. that a consumer of a credit counselor may contact the United States department of justice or the clerk of the United States bankruptcy court for the southern and eastern districts of New York for a list of credit counselors approved pursuant to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, if such consumer is considering filing a bankruptcy petition;

      v. that a consumer of a credit counselor is not required to obtain a loan or enter into a contract for debt repayment with any specific credit counselor; and

      vi. such other provisions as the department may deem appropriate.

  1. Any person, partnership, firm, corporation or business entity that holds itself out to the public in printed, televised, or radio media as providing the services of a credit counselor but is not an approved credit counselor shall disclose in such media that it is not an approved credit counselor pursuant to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.
    1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall be authorized upon due notice and hearing, to impose civil penalties for the violation of any provision of this section. The department shall have the power to render decisions and orders and to impose civil penalties of not less than two thousand five hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars for each violation. All proceedings authorized pursuant to this paragraph shall be conducted in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner. The remedies and penalties provided for in this paragraph shall be in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided for the enforcement of such provisions under any other law including, but not limited to, civil or criminal actions or proceedings.

   (2) All such proceedings shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of notices of violation. The notice of violation or copy thereof shall constitute notice of the violation charged, and, if sworn to or affirmed, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein.

   (3) The commissioner shall conspicuously disclose on its web site all persons, partnerships, firms, corporations or business entities that have been found to have violated any provisions of this section, or rules and regulations promulgated hereunder, within the preceding twelve months. Such disclosure shall, at minimum, list the name of each person, partnership, firm, corporation or business entity found to have violated any provisions of this section, or rules and regulations promulgated hereunder, as well as the nature of each violation.

§ 20-723.3 Disclosure Requirements for Distressed Property Consultants.

  1. Definitions. For the purposes of this section the following terms shall have the following meanings:

   1. “Consulting services” means services promised by a distressed property consultant to a homeowner, including but not limited to services that the consultant represents will help to achieve any of the following:

      i. An action to stop, enjoin, delay, set aside, annul, stay or postpone a foreclosure filing, a foreclosure sale or the loss of a home for nonpayment of taxes;

      ii. A forbearance from any servicer, beneficiary or mortgagee or relief with respect to the potential loss of the home for nonpayment of taxes;

      iii. The exercise of a right of reinstatement or similar right by the homeowner as provided in the mortgage documents or any law or the refinancing of a distressed home loan;

      iv. Any extension of the period within which the homeowner may reinstate or otherwise restore his or her rights with respect to the property;

      v. A waiver of an acceleration clause contained in any promissory note or contract secured by a mortgage on a property in foreclosure;

      vi. A loan or advance of funds;

      vii. Assistance to the homeowner in answering or responding to a summons and complaint, or otherwise providing information regarding the foreclosure complaint and process;

      viii. The avoidance or amelioration of the impairment of the homeowner’s credit resulting from the commencement of a foreclosure proceeding or tax sale;

      ix. The saving of the homeowner’s property from foreclosure or loss for non-payment of taxes; or

      x. Any other action as may be deemed subject to section 265-b of the New York state general business law.

   2. “Distressed home loan” means a home loan that is in danger of being foreclosed because the homeowner has one or more defaults under the mortgage that entitles the lender to accelerate full payment of the mortgage and repossess the property, or a home loan where the lender has commenced a foreclosure action. For purposes of this paragraph, a “home loan” is a loan in which the debt is incurred by the homeowner, or shareholder in a cooperative corporation, primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, and the loan is secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on property, or in the case of a cooperative by a security agreement in shares in a corporation, upon which there is located or there is to be located a structure or structures intended principally for occupancy of from one to four families, which is or will be occupied by the homeowner as the homeowner’s principal dwelling.

   3. “Distressed property consultant” means an individual or corporation, partnership, limited liability company or other business entity that, directly or indirectly, solicits or undertakes employment to provide consulting services to a homeowner for compensation or promise of compensation with respect to a distressed home loan or a potential loss of the home for nonpayment of taxes, or any individual or business entity considered a distressed property consultant for purposes of New York state real property law section 265-b. A distressed property consultant does not include the following:

      i. An attorney admitted to practice in the State of New York;

      ii. A person or entity who holds or is owed an obligation secured by a lien on any property in foreclosure while the person or entity performs services in connection with the obligation or lien;

      iii. A bank, trust company, private banker, bank holding company, savings bank, savings and loan association, thrift holding company, credit union or insurance company organized under the laws of this state, another state or the United States, or a subsidiary or affiliate of such entity or a foreign banking corporation licensed by the superintendent of banks or the comptroller of the currency;

      iv. A federal Department of Housing and Urban Development approved mortgagee and any subsidiary or affiliate of such mortgagee, and any agent or employee of these persons while engaged in the business of such mortgagee;

      v. A judgment creditor of the homeowner, if the judgment creditor’s claim accrues before the written notice of foreclosure sale is sent;

      vi. A title insurer authorized to do business in this state, while performing title insurance and settlement services;

      vii. A person licensed as a mortgage banker or registered as a mortgage broker or registered as a mortgage loan servicer as defined in article 12-d of the New York state banking law;

      viii. A bona fide not-for-profit organization that offers counseling or advice to homeowners in foreclosure or loan default; or

      ix. A person or entity that the superintendent of banks has determined is not subject to section 265-b of the New York state real property law.

   4. “Homeowner” means a natural person who is the mortgagor with respect to a distressed home loan or who is in danger of losing a home for nonpayment of taxes.

   5. “Unit of advertising space” means any real property, space, facility or instrumentality, or any portion thereof, owned or operated by the city of New York, or which is located or operates on real property owned or operated by the city of New York, and which is the subject of the same contract, lease, rental agreement, franchise, revocable consent, concession or other similar written agreement with the city of New York which allows the placement or display of advertisements, but not including any real property, space or facility leased from the city of New York for a term of thirty years or more during the entire term of the lease or any real property, space or facility leased from or to the industrial development agency.

  1. Every distressed property consultant who does business in New York City and who advertises distressed property consulting services through the media of a newspaper, magazine, circular, pamphlet, store display, letter or handbill and/or via a unit or units of advertising space, shall disclose in such advertising, in accordance with the rules established by the commissioner, in clear and prominent letter type, in a print color that contrasts with the background against which it appears:

   1. that, pursuant to section 265-b of the New York state real property law, a distressed property consultant is prohibited from:

      i. performing services without a written, fully executed contract with a homeowner;

      ii. accepting payment for consulting services before the full completion of such services;

      iii. taking power of attorney from a homeowner; and

      iv. retaining any original loan document or other original document related to the distressed home loan, the property, or the potential loss of the home for nonpayment of taxes.

   2. that hiring a distressed property consultant does not stop the foreclosure process, nor can a distressed property consultant guarantee any particular result with regards to a distressed property.

  1. The commissioner may make and promulgate such rules as may be necessary for the proper implementation and enforcement of this section.
  2. Any person who is a party to an otherwise valid agreement with the city of New York in effect on the date of enactment of the local law that added this section shall not be subject to the requirements of this section for the term of such agreement. However, where such agreement provides for a right or rights of renewal for one or more periods upon the same terms and conditions or terms and conditions set forth in such agreement, the holder who is a party to such agreement or any agreements entered into pursuant to such right or rights of renewal shall be subject to the requirements of this section at the commencement of the first renewal period.
    1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall be authorized upon due notice and hearing, to impose civil penalties for the violation of any provision of this section. The department shall have the power to render decisions and orders and to impose civil penalties of not less than two thousand five hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars for each violation. All proceedings authorized pursuant to this paragraph shall be conducted in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner. The remedies and penalties provided for in this paragraph shall be in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided for the enforcement of such provisions under any other law including, but not limited to, civil or criminal actions or proceedings.

   (2) All such proceedings shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of notices of violation. The notice of violation or copy thereof shall constitute notice of the violation charged, and, if sworn to or affirmed, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein.

§ 20-724 Requirements of records.

Any such person, firm, corporation or association or agent, or employee thereof, doing business in New York city, making any one or more of the aforesaid statements, claims, offers, or representations of the types described in subdivisions (a), (b) and (c) of section 20-723 shall maintain full and adequate records disclosing the facts upon which any such statements, offers, claims or representations are based.

  1. All such records shall be open and available for inspection to the commissioner or to his or her duly designated representatives for a period of ninety days from the date of the offer.
  2. The failure of any such person, firm, corporation or association, or agent or employee thereof doing business in New York city to produce such records in substantiation of its claims shall be presumptive of the falsity of the advertisement.

§ 20-725 Rules and regulations.

The commissioner may make and promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

§ 20-726 Violations.

Any person, firm, corporation or association or agent or employee thereof, who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) or by imprisonment not exceeding thirty (30) days, or by both.

Subchapter 6: Availability For Sale of Advertised Merchandise

§ 20-727 Raincheck issuance disclosure.

A retailer, who has adopted as policy the issuance of rainchecks to consumers for the sale of advertised merchandise not available throughout the advertised period, shall clearly and conspicuously post such fact, along with a designation of where a raincheck can be obtained, within the retail establishment.

§ 20-728 Penalties.

Violation of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, shall be punishable by payment of a civil penalty in the sum of not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars for each violation; except that a person shall not be subject to the civil penalty described above for a first-time violation of any provision of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, if such person proves to the satisfaction of the department within thirty days of the issuance of the notice of violation and prior to the commencement of an adjudication of the violation, that he or she has cured the violation. The submission of proof of a cure shall be deemed an admission of liability for all purposes. The option of presenting proof that the violation has been cured shall be offered as part of any settlement offer made by the department to a person who has received, for the first time, a notice of violation of any provision of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder. The department shall permit such proof to be submitted electronically or in person. A person may seek review, in the department’s administrative tribunal, of the determination that the person has not submitted proof of a cure within fifteen days of receiving written notification of such determination.

§ 20-729 Regulations.

The commissioner may adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subchapter.

Subchapter 7: Information With Respect To Funeral Costs

§ 20-730 Definitions.

  1. “Alternative container” means a non-metal receptacle or enclosure customarily not ornamented and designed for holding or transporting human remains.
  2. “Cash advances” or “accommodations” means amounts advanced on the customer’s behalf for various services and merchandise, including, but not limited to: cemetery or crematory charges, clergy honorarium, flowers, newspaper death notices, pall bearers, music, transportation charges, out-of-town funeral director’s charges, hairdressers, bridge and road tolls, telephone and telegraph charges, gratuities.
  3. “Casket” includes a coffin and means a rigid container designed for the encasement of human remains and customarily ornamented and lined with fabric.
  4. “Customer” means any person, association or other entity who purchases or otherwise makes arrangements for the purchase of funeral services or merchandise, without intention of resale.
  5. “Defacement” means any deliberate effort to make merchandise appear unattractive to customers including, but not limited to, displaying broken, soiled or defective merchandise.
  6. “Funeral merchandise” means articles and supplies sold or offered for sale directly to the public, or used by funeral directors, incident to:

   (1) the care and preparation of deceased human bodies for burial, cremation or other final disposition;

   (2) the arrangement, supervision or conducting of the funeral ceremony.

  1. “Funeral services” means services performed incident to:

   (1) the care and preparation of deceased human bodies for burial, cremation, or other final disposition;

   (2) the arrangement, supervision or conducting of the funeral ceremony and the final disposition of the deceased including, but not limited to, transporting the remains, securing necessary permits, embalming, arranging for death notices, and other funeral-related items.

  1. “Funeral service establishment” means the premises used or held out as being used to care for and prepare for burial of the body of a deceased person or maintained as the office from which business is transacted by a funeral director or undertaker.
  2. “Immediate cremation” means a disposition of human remains which includes the reduction of the remains by a heating process and which does not involve formal viewing or a prior funeral ceremony with the body present.
  3. “Memorial society” means an unincorporated association or not-for-profit corporation which assists members in obtaining and making arrangements for funerals, cremations or other methods of disposition.
  4. “Offered for sale” means making available for purchase or suggesting availability of merchandise or services for purchase by use of any advertising or promotional materials, including brochures, handbills, or calendars, or by the displaying of merchandise, or verbal or written expressions, direct or indirect, of a willingness to furnish services or merchandise to the public for a retail price.
  5. “Outer interment receptacle” means any container or enclosure which is placed in the grave around the casket to protect the casket or to prevent the collapse of the grave including, but not limited to, receptacles commonly known as burial vaults, grave boxes, or grave liners.
  6. “Provider of funeral services” means any person, partnership or corporation, or any employee or agent thereof, engaged in the business of selling or offering for sale, directly to the public, funeral services or funeral merchandise; of preparing deceased human bodies for burial, cremation or other final disposition; or of conducting or arranging funerals.

§ 20-731 Casket and outer interment receptacle information.

  1. Any provider of funeral services who offers a casket for sale, or an outer interment receptacle for sale in a selection room, shall prominently display the actual retail price on each casket or outer interment receptacle, in at least one-half inch numbers, as well as composition and model number of such casket or outer interment receptacle.
  2. Any provider of funeral services who offers a casket or an outer interment receptacle for sale by means other than a selection room shall present to a customer for his or her selection a photograph or other pictorial representation of each model of casket or other interment receptacle so offered, with the price, composition and model number prominently displayed.

§ 20-732 Statement to be furnished by provider of funeral services.

Any provider of funeral services shall prominently display on the funeral services establishment premises and make readily available to any customer or prospective customer a printed presentation sheet. The presentation sheet shall contain an itemized list of all funeral merchandise and services available at the establishment, a statement that the prices therefor are available upon request, and appropriate disclosures regarding legal requirements for procurement of funeral merchandise and services, the form and contents of which shall be prescribed by the commissioner. The presentation sheet shall be made current annually.

§ 20-733 Prohibited practices.

It shall be unlawful for any provider of funeral services:

  1. to embalm without orally informing the customer that embalming is not required by law or to furnish other services or merchandise including embalming, without having first obtained from the customer explicit written or oral authorization;
  2. to obtain custody of a deceased human body without having first received from the customer explicit written or oral authorization;
  3. to fail to promptly release a body or give information regarding the care or whereabouts of a body upon request of a customer;
  4. to misrepresent cremation needs including requiring a customer who expresses an interest in immediate cremation of deceased human remains to purchase a casket, or claiming expressly or impliedly that a casket is required by law, or failing to make available to such customer an alternative container;
  5. to misrepresent the law, public health necessity or religious requirements including the legal and health necessities for embalming, a casket, or an outer interment receptacle;
  6. to make false preservative value claims, including claiming that decomposition or decay of a deceased human body can be prevented by the use or purchase of embalming, a casket, a burial vault or other outer interment receptacle;
  7. to charge in excess of the amount advanced, paid or owed to third parties on behalf of customers, or not passing along to the customer any discount, rebate or other benefit received from third parties for any items of service or merchandise described as “cash advances”, “cash disbursements”, “accommodations”, or words of similar import.

§ 20-734 Merchandise and service selection.

It shall be unlawful for any provider of funeral services:

  1. to fail to display the three least expensive caskets offered for sale in the same general manner as other caskets are displayed, provided that if fewer than twelve caskets are displayed, only the least expensive casket must be so displayed; or
  2. to interfere with the customer’s selection of merchandise or services offered for sale including: (1) representing in any manner that any funeral merchandise or service is offered for sale when such is not a bona fide offer to sell said product or services, (2) falsely discouraging any purchase by disparagement, by suggestion that any merchandise or service is not readily available or by defacement, (3) disparaging concern for price by suggestion that a customer’s concern for price or desire to save money on merchandise or services is improper, inappropriate or indicative of a lack of respect or affection for the deceased, (4) contradicting, mitigating or detracting from the printed disclosures required by section 20-732 of this subchapter, or (5) making any claim that is false, misleading or unsubstantiated in a material respect regarding any merchandise or services.

§ 20-735 Interference with the market.

It shall be unlawful for any provider of funeral services to directly or indirectly prohibit, hinder or restrict, or attempt to prohibit, hinder or restrict:

  1. the offering or advertising of the availability of low-cost funerals, immediate cremation or other forms of disposition, or arrangement for funeral services in advance of need by any provider of funeral services, memorial society, or other person, partnership, association or corporation;
  2. any contract or arrangement between a memorial society and any provider of funeral services;
  3. the disclosure of accurate price information in any manner regarding funeral merchandise or services by any provider of funeral services.

§ 20-736 Price information over telephone.

Any provider of funeral services shall, upon request, provide over the telephone,information regarding the range of prices and shall affirmatively disclose the availability of a presentation sheet at the establishment.

§ 20-737 Regulations.

The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations reasonably necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subchapter.

§ 20-738 Penalties.

Violation of any provision of this subchapter shall be punishable by a civil penalty of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars for each violation.

Subchapter 8: Income Tax Preparers

§ 20-739 Definitions.

  1. For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “tax preparer” or “preparer” means a person, partnership, corporation or other business entity, that for valuable consideration advises or assists or offers to advise or assist in the preparation of income tax returns for another.
  2. For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “refund anticipation loan” means any loan a taxpayer may receive against his or her anticipated income tax refund.

§ 20-740 Disclosure.

  1. A tax preparer who is required, pursuant to federal, state or local law or regulation, to sign income tax returns as a preparer shall prominently and conspicuously post on the business premises an identification and qualification statement. The statement shall include, but is not limited to, the name of the tax preparer, an address and phone number at which the tax preparer can be contacted throughout the year, and a statement of any qualifications possessed by the tax preparer, which may include a statement of satisfactory completion of an educational or training program in income tax law, theory or practice by the preparer.
  2. The tax preparer shall provide the customer with a receipt containing an address and phone number at which the preparer can be contacted throughout the year.

§ 20-740.1 Consumer bill of rights regarding tax preparers.

  1. No later than the fifteenth of October of each year, the department shall produce and publish in the city record a one page informational flier regarding consumers’ rights and laws concerning tax preparers to be called a “consumer bill of rights regarding tax preparers”. The flier shall be in a form which is easily reproducible by photocopy machine and shall contain information including, but not limited to, the following:

   1. Postings required by local, state and federal laws, such as price posting, posting of qualifications, and any licenses and permits required for the operation of the business; and

   2. Explanations of some of the commonly offered services and industry jargon, such as preparation of short and long federal forms, refund, electronic filing, express mail, direct deposit, refund anticipation loan, “quick,” “instant,” “rapid,” “fast,” fee, and interest; and

   3. Basic information on what a tax preparer is and is not required to do for a consumer, such as the preparer’s responsibility to sign a return, that a tax preparer may not be required to accompany a consumer to an audit but the company may have a voluntary policy to accompany consumers to audits; and

   4. The telephone numbers of the department for information and complaints; and

   5. A statement that the consumer has the right to receive the following information from the tax preparer prior to becoming obligated to compensate such tax preparer for services rendered in connection with filing such consumer’s income tax return with the appropriate governmental agencies:

      (a) A written list of the refund and tax preparation services offered by the tax preparer;

      (b) A written estimate of the total costs to the consumer for each refund and tax preparation service offered by the tax preparer. Such an estimate shall include basic filing fees, interest rates, refund anticipation loan processing fees, and any other related fees or charges;

      (c) A written interest rate estimation for a refund anticipation loan or any other loan services offered by the tax preparer; and

      (d) For each refund and tax preparation service offered by the tax preparer, a written estimate of the period of time the consumer can reasonably expect to wait for his or her tax refund.

  1. The department shall publicize the availability of the flier. The department shall provide a copy of the consumer bill of rights regarding tax preparers to any requesting individuals or businesses within fourteen days of such a request and shall, no later than November 1 of each year, send the consumer bill of rights regarding tax preparers to each tax preparer who has been found to be in violation of this subchapter or any other provision of this chapter within the previous calendar year. In addition, each tax preparer subject to this subchapter shall obtain a current consumer bill of rights regarding tax preparers from the department and shall reproduce it so that it is clear and legible. As of January 1 of each year, each such tax preparer shall give to each consumer, free of charge, a current, legible copy of the consumer bill of rights regarding tax preparers prior to any discussion with the consumer. Each such tax preparer shall also verbally direct the consumer to review the consumer bill of rights regarding tax preparers and shall answer any questions the consumer may have about its contents.

§ 20-741 Records.

No tax preparer shall intentionally misstate or misrepresent any information relating to his or her education, training or experience on an identification and qualification statement. A tax preparer shall maintain records to substantiate all of the information contained on such a statement; provided, however, that an affidavit signed by the tax preparer indicating that the information contained on a statement is true shall be sufficient to substantiate any information if other records are not available. Such records and/or affidavit shall be kept on file on the business premises and shall be presented on demand for inspection by the commissioner.

§ 20-741.1 Refund anticipation loans.

  1. Any tax preparer who advertises the availability of a refund anticipation loan may not directly or indirectly represent such a loan as a refund. Any advertisement which mentions a refund anticipation loan must state conspicuously that it is a loan and that a fee or interest will be charged by the lending institution. The advertisement must also disclose the name of the lending institution.
  2. Before any taxpayer enters into a refund anticipation loan, the tax preparer facilitating such loan shall provide the following disclosure to the taxpayer in writing, in English and Spanish, in at least 14-point type. In the event that the taxpayer does not understand English or Spanish, the tax preparer shall also provide a point-by-point oral explanation of the following required disclosure in a language understood by the tax payer:
YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ENTER INTO THIS REFUND ANTICIPATION LOAN AGREEMENT MERELY BECAUSE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS INFORMATION.
IF YOU DO SIGN A CONTRACT FOR A REFUND ANTICIPATION LOAN, YOU WILL BE TAKING OUT A LOAN. YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR REPAYMENT OF THE ENTIRE LOAN AMOUNT AND ALL RELATED COSTS AND FEES, REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH MONEY YOU ACTUALLY RECEIVE IN YOUR TAX REFUND.
IF YOU DO NOT TAKE OUT THIS REFUND ANTICIPATION LOAN, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A GROSS TAX REFUND OF APPROXIMATELY $[insert amount].
IF YOU DO TAKE OUT THIS REFUND ANTICIPATION LOAN, YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE TO PAY $ [insert amount] IN FEES FOR THE LOAN. AFTER THESE FEES ARE PAID, YOU WILL RECEIVE APPROXIMATELY $ [insert amount] AS YOUR LOAN.
THE ESTIMATED ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE OF YOUR REFUND ANTICIPATION LOAN IS [insert amount]%. THIS IS BASED ON THE ACTUAL AMOUNT OF TIME YOU WILL BE LENT MONEY THROUGH THIS REFUND ANTICIPATION LOAN.
IF YOU DO TAKE OUT THIS REFUND ANTICIPATION LOAN, YOU CAN EXPECT TO RECEIVE YOUR LOAN WITHIN APPROXIMATELY TWO BUSINESS DAYS OF [insert date].
IF YOU DO NOT TAKE OUT THIS REFUND ANTICIPATION LOAN, YOU CAN STILL RECEIVE YOUR TAX REFUND QUICKLY. IF YOU FILE YOUR TAX RETURN ELECTRONICALLY AND RECEIVE YOUR TAX REFUND THROUGH THE MAIL, YOU CAN EXPECT TO RECEIVE YOUR REFUND WITHIN APPROXIMATELY TWO BUSINESS DAYS OF [insert date]. IF YOU FILE YOUR TAX RETURN ELECTRONICALLY AND HAVE YOUR TAX REFUND DIRECTLY DEPOSITED INTO A BANK ACCOUNT, YOU CAN EXPECT TO RECEIVE YOUR REFUND WITHIN APPROXIMATELY TWO BUSINESS DAYS OF [insert date].

It shall be the obligation of the tax preparer to complete the required disclosure accurately with all relevant information for each taxpayer, to provide the required point-by-point oral explanation when necessary, and to ensure that the completed disclosure form is signed by the taxpayer before he or she enters into a refund anticipation loan.

§ 20-742 Exemptions.

Apart from § 20-741.1 and the accompanying penalties as listed in § 20-743, the provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to:

  1. An officer or employee of a corporation or business enterprise who, in his or her capacity as such, advises or assists in the preparation of income tax returns relating to such corporation or business enterprise.
  2. An attorney at law who advises or assists in the preparation of income tax returns in the practice of law and the employees thereof.
  3. A fiduciary and the employees thereof who advised or assist in the preparation of income tax returns on behalf of the fiduciary estate, the testator, trustee, grantor or beneficiaries thereof.
  4. A certified public accountant and the employees thereof.
  5. A public accountant licensed pursuant to the education law and the employees thereof.
  6. An employee of a governmental unit, agency or instrumentality who advises or assists in the preparation of income tax returns in the performance of his or her official duties.
  7. An agent enrolled to practice before the internal revenue service pursuant to section 10.4 of subpart A of 31 CFR part 10.

§ 20-743 Penalties.

Any person, partnership, corporation or other business entity who violates any provision of this subchapter or any of the regulations promulgated hereunder shall be liable for a civil penalty or not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for the first violation and for each succeeding violation a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than seven hundred fifty dollars; except that a person, partnership, corporation or other business entity shall not be subject to the civil penalty described above for a first-time violation of subdivision (a) of section 20-740 of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, if such person, partnership, corporation or other business entity proves to the satisfaction of the department, within thirty days of the issuance of the notice of violation and prior to the commencement of an adjudication of the violation, that the violation has been cured. The submission of proof of a cure shall be deemed an admission of liability for all purposes. The option of presenting proof that the violation has been cured shall be offered as part of any settlement offer made by the department to a person, partnership, corporation or other business entity who has received, for the first time, a notice of violation of subdivision (a) of section 20-740 of this subchapter or any rule or regulation issued thereunder. The department shall permit such proof to be submitted electronically or in person. A person, partnership, corporation or other business entity may seek review, in the department’s administrative tribunal, of the determination that the person or entity has not submitted proof of a cure within fifteen days of receiving written notification of such determination.

§ 20-743.1 Civil Cause of Action.

Any person claiming to be injured by the failure of a tax preparer to act in accordance with section 20-741.1 of this subchapter shall have a cause of action against such tax preparer in any court of competent jurisdiction for any or all of the following relief:

  1. compensatory and punitive damages;
  2. injunctive and declaratory relief;
  3. attorneys’ fees and costs; and
  4. such other relief as a court may deem appropriate.

Subchapter 9: Sale of Travel Tickets

§ 20-744 Procurement or sale of tickets, reservations or passenger accommodations.

  1. It is hereby determined and declared that the price or charge for the procurement on behalf of another, by purchase or otherwise or upon the sale or resale, within the corporate limits of the city of New York, of tickets, reservations or passenger accommodations issued by any railroad, parlor or sleeping car owner or operator, steamship company, air line or bus line is a matter affected with a public interest and subject to the supervision of the authorities of said city for the purpose of safeguarding the public against fraud, extortion, exorbitant rates and similar abuses.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to require, charge, make or receive, within the corporate limits of the city of New York, for the procurement on behalf of another, by purchase or otherwise, of any ticket, reservation or passenger accommodation, issued by any railroad, parlor or sleeping car owner or operator, steamship company, air line or bus line, a fee or service charge or any payment or consideration for rendering such service in excess of one dollar for the first transportation ticket, reservation or passenger accommodation or first parlor car or sleeping car reservation or passenger accommodation, or in excess of one dollar for any additional transportation ticket or parlor car or sleeping car reservation or passenger accommodation over the established tariff charge or charges therefor.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person to procure on behalf of another person, within the corporate limits of the city of New York by purchase or otherwise, any ticket, reservation or passenger accommodation, issued by any railroad, parlor or sleeping car owner or operator, steamship company, air line or bus line, with the intent, with respect to such other person, to require, charge, make or receive a service charge or any payment or consideration for rendering service in excess of the amount or amounts hereinabove specified in subdivision b over the established tariff charge or charges therefor. Proof of the making of a service charge or of the receipt of any payment or consideration, in connection with the procurement of such ticket, reservation or passenger accommodation, for such other person, in excess of the amount or amounts hereinabove specified in subdivision b, over such established tariff charge or charges, shall be presumptive evidence of the intent mentioned in the next preceding subdivision.
  4. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, resell or cause to be resold, within the corporate limits of the city of New York, any ticket, reservation or passenger accommodation, issued by any railroad, parlor or sleeping car owner or operator, steamship company, air line or bus line, at a price in excess of the amount or amounts hereinabove specified in subdivision b over the established tariff charge or charges therefor.
  5. It shall be unlawful for any person to procure, within the corporate limits of the city of New York, by purchase or otherwise, any ticket, reservation or passenger accommodation, issued by any railroad, parlor or sleeping car owner or operator, steamship company, air line or bus line, with the intent to sell or resell the same, or cause the same to be sold or resold, at a price in excess of the amount or amounts hereinabove specified in subdivision b over the established tariff charge or charges therefor. Proof of the sale or resale of such ticket, reservation or passenger accommodation or combination thereof at a price in excess of the amount or amounts hereinabove specified in subdivision b over such established tariff charge or charges shall be presumptive evidence of the intent mentioned in the next preceding subdivision.
  6. The term “person” as used in this section includes any officer or employee of a corporation or a member or employee of a partnership who, as such officer, member or employee, is responsible for the act in respect of which the violation occurs. The term “established tariff charge” shall be the charge set forth in the tariff as published and filed by the railroad, parlor or sleeping car owner or operator, steamship company, air line or bus line involved.
  7. The person responsible for the management of each travel agency and hotel operating within the corporate limits of the city of New York shall cause a copy of this subchapter to be posted in a conspicuous place upon the premises of the agency or hotel for the information of patrons, guests and members of the public at large.
  8. Any person violating any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding ten days or both, for each separate offense.
  9. This subchapter shall not apply to tickets, reservations or passenger accommodations: (a) to or from places outside of the continental United States and Canada, excluding Alaska; nor (b) to existing written contracts between any travel agency with corporations, firms or government agencies covering tourist or travel services.

Subchapter 10: Information Regarding Redemption of Beverage Containers

§ 20-745 Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter the following terms shall have the following meanings:

  1. “Beverage” means any beverage covered by title ten of article twenty-seven of the environmental conservation law of the state of New York;
  2. “Beverage container” means any can, bottle or other container of any description that is covered by title ten of article twenty-seven of the environmental conservation law of the state of New York;
  3. “Dealer” means any person engaged in the retail sale, for off-premises consumption of beverages in beverage containers that are covered by title ten of article twenty-seven of the environmental conservation law of the state of New York;
  4. “Redeemer” means any person, other than a dealer or distributor, who demands the refund value in exchange for an empty beverage container.

§ 20-746 Sign required.

Every dealer shall post conspicuously a sign that summarizes the rights and obligations of redeemers pursuant to title ten of article twenty-seven of the environmental conservation law of the state of New York.

§ 20-747 Regulations.

The commissioner may adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subchapter. Such regulations shall include, but not be limited to, defining the contents, size and location of the sign required by section 20-746 of this subchapter.

§ 20-748 Penalties.

Violation of this subchapter, or any regulation promulgated pursuant to it, shall be punishable by payment of a civil penalty not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars; except that a person shall not be subject to a civil penalty described above for a first-time violation of section 20-746 of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, if such person proves to the satisfaction of the department, within thirty days of the issuance of the notice of violation and prior to the commencement of an adjudication of the violation, that the violation has been cured. The submission of proof of a cure shall be deemed an admission of liability for all purposes. The option of presenting proof that the violation has been cured shall be offered as part of any settlement offer made by the department to a person who has received, for the first time, a notice of violation of section 20-746 of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder. The department shall permit such proof to be submitted electronically or in person. A person may seek review, in the department’s administrative tribunal, of the determination that the person has not submitted proof of a cure within fifteen days of receiving written notification of such determination.

Subchapter 11: Posting of Prices In Retail Service Establishments

§ 20-749 Definitions.

(a) "Current selling price" means the regular price of a listed service, so that, in the absence of any special offer, the service would be given upon payment of the listed price.
  1. “Service” means a basic service performed by a retail service establishment. It also means any special service not commonly offered by such an establishment which the establishment offers to distinguish itself from its competitors.
  2. “Retail service establishment” shall mean any establishment which provides services to consumers at retail, and shall include but not be limited to the following: tailors, dry cleaners, laundries, barbers and hair salons, nail salons, shoe and luggage repair shops, locksmiths, electrical or electronic appliance or equipment repair shops, reupholstery or furniture repair shops, tax preparers and photographic film development providers.

§ 20-750 Display of service prices.

(a) Every retail service establishment must post, at each counter or desk at which orders are placed and/or payment is made, a list conspicuously displaying the current selling price of the basic services provided. The list shall also disclose factors which may cause the price to be higher than the basic price, and the range of the possible additional charges when such variables pertain.
  1. In the event of a special sale or promotion, the regular price list shall remain conspicuously visible.
  1. Notwithstanding any other law, rule or regulation, and in addition to any other penalties provided in this code or elsewhere, the disclosure of differing prices or fees based upon gender by a retail service establishment shall constitute a violation of this subchapter.

§ 20-751 Disclosure of base prices.

(a) Where the price of the service is calculated on a base fee plus labor and parts as determined by time and cost of materials, the base fee and the cost of labor per common unit of time shall be listed, and the list shall state that the cost of parts will be additional. The list shall also state that warranty information is available on request.
  1. Where the cost of service includes the cost of parts, the service establishment shall provide a list of parts actually provided and the cost of each.

§ 20-752 Regulations.

(a) The commissioner shall promulgate such regulations as shall be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subchapter, including, but not limited to requirements as to the manner of display of service prices.
  1. The commissioner may, by regulation, permit a printed list to be substituted for a posted list, in such classes of service establishments in which the commissioner determines that it would be impracticable to post because the list is subject to frequent changes, provided that the printed list is given to each customer upon entering the service establishment.

§ 20-753 Penalties.

Any person who shall violate the provisions of this subchapter or the regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a civil penalty or not less than fifty dollars and not more than two hundred and fifty dollars for the first offense and for each succeeding offense a penalty of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each such violation; except that a person shall not be subject to the civil penalty described above for a first-time violation of subdivision c of section 20-750 of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, if such person proves to the satisfaction of the department, within thirty days of the issuance of the notice of violation and prior to the commencement of an adjudication of the violation, that the violation has been cured. The submission of proof of a cure shall be deemed an admission of liability for all purposes. The option of presenting proof that the violation has been cured shall be offered as part of any settlement offer made by the department to a person who has received, for the first time, a notice of violation of subdivision c of section 20-750 of this subchapter or any rule or regulation issued thereunder. The department shall permit such proof to be submitted electronically or in person. A person may seek review, in the department’s administrative tribunal, of the determination that the person has not submitted proof of a cure within fifteen days of receiving written notification of such determination. For the purposes of this section, if on any single day the current selling price list is not displayed in accordance with this subchapter or the regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter, it shall be considered a single violation.

Subchapter 12: Delayed Payment Transactions: Billing Practices

§ 20-755 Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply:

  1. “Delayed payment transaction” means a purchase of a good or service by a consumer for which the provider agrees to accept payment at a future date. This shall include, but not be limited to, one-time purchases and ongoing accounts. It shall not include loans, installment purchases or other transactions which are subject to conflicting state or federal regulation.
  2. “Provider” includes, but shall not be limited to, general merchandise stores, specialized merchandise stores, groceries, florists, pharmacies, dry cleaners, laundries, beauty salons, barbershops, shoe and luggage repair shops, appliance repair shops, automobile repair shops, gas stations, restaurants and bars. It shall not include professionals such as accountants, attorneys, and doctors, where such professionals are providing professional services as opposed to providing products.
  3. “Consumer invoice” means a statement of monies owed to the provider for delayed payment transactions, and shall include, but not be limited to, periodic statements such as weekly `tabs’ or monthly bills.
  4. “Plain language description” means a description in commonly used words, containing sufficient detail to identify the type and quantity of product or service being described. It shall not mean a provider’s transaction number or code, or a technical description not commonly used among consumers.

§ 20-756 Consumer invoices; required disclosure.

  1. Any invoice provided to the consumer of a delayed payment transaction shall separately disclose each item or service for which the consumer is being billed, including the following specific disclosures:

   1. a plain-language description of the item or service provided;

   2. the make and model number, where applicable;

   3. the cost of the item or service;

   4. date of purchase or service;

   5. date of delivery, where applicable;

   6. the name and business address of the provider;

   7. the telephone number of the provider’s billing department or customer service representative; and

   8. any other characteristics of the transaction required to be disclosed by law or regulation.

  1. Where an itemized receipt or, in the case of a food store, a cash register tape is given to the consumer at the time of purchase, the invoice need only disclose the name, address, and telephone number of the provider; the date of the transaction; and the dollar amount of the transaction.

§ 20-757 Unsolicited offers.

Offers for goods or services shall not appear on any invoice for a delayed payment transaction unless the customer has previously agreed to receive such offers. Where the consumer has so agreed, and the item listed is an offer, the invoice must state in letters of point size equal to that of the amount to be charged, “This is an offer.” No offers shall be included in the total amount due and payable, but must be separately itemized and totalled.

§ 20-758 Violations.

Any provider or agent or employee thereof who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), and shall be liable for a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) for each violation.

Subchapter 13: Tobacco Product Promotion

§ 20-760 Tobacco product promotion restriction.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to offer or cause to be offered a tobacco product promotion, as defined in section 27-508.2 of this code, to any person younger than eighteen years of age.
  2. Any person offering or causing to be offered a tobacco product promotion shall verify through a driver’s license or other photographic identification card issued by a government entity or educational institution that a person to whom a tobacco product promotion has been offered is at least eighteen years of age. Such identification need not be required of any individual who reasonably appears to be at least twenty-five years of age; provided, however, that such appearance shall not constitute a defense in any proceeding alleging the offering of a tobacco product promotion to an individual under eighteen years of age.
  3. A proceeding to recover any civil penalty pursuant to this subchapter shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation which shall be returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department. The administrative tribunal of the department shall have the power to impose civil penalties for violation of this subchapter.
  4. Nothing in this subchapter shall be deemed to prohibit sponsorship of or at events as set forth in section 27-508.5 of this code.

Subchapter 13-A: Motorized Scooters

§ 20-762 Motorized Scooters.

  1. For purposes of this section, a motorized scooter shall have the definition set forth in section 19-176.2 of this code.
  2. No person shall sell, lease or rent or attempt to sell, lease or rent a motorized scooter to another person in the city of New York.
  3. Any person who violates subdivision b of this section shall be liable for a civil penalty of one thousand dollars for a first violation and a civil penalty of two thousand dollars for each subsequent violation within one year. Each sale, lease or rental, or attempt to sell, lease or rent, a motorized scooter shall be deemed a separate violation. Authorized employees of the department, the police department, and of any other agency designated by the mayor, shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this section. Such penalties shall be recovered in a civil action or in a proceeding commenced by the service of a notice of hearing that shall be returnable before the administrative tribunal of the department. In addition, such violation shall be a traffic infraction and shall be punishable in accordance with section eighteen hundred of the New York state vehicle and traffic law.
  4. Any motorized scooter that has been used or is being used in violation of the provisions of this section may be impounded and shall not be released until any and all removal charges and storage fees and the applicable fines have been paid or a bond has been posted in an amount satisfactory to the commissioner.

Subchapter 14: Domestic Workers and Household Employees

§ 20-770 Application.

The provisions of this subchapter shall apply to all employment agencies, as defined in section 171 of article 11 of the general business law, which arrange employment for domestic or household employees.

§ 20-771 Statement of employee rights and employer obligations under city, state and federal law.

  1. Every licensed employment agency under the jurisdiction of the commissioner and engaged in the job placement of domestic or household employees shall provide to each applicant for employment as a domestic or household employee and his or her prospective employer, before job placement is arranged, a written statement indicating the rights of such employee and the obligations of his or her employer under city, state and federal law. Such statement of rights and obligations shall embody provisions of city, state and federal laws that pertain to domestic or household employees, both in their capacity as workers in New York city, New York state and the United States and in their capacity specifically as domestic or household employees in New York city, New York state and the United States. Such statement of rights and obligations shall include, but not be limited to, a general description of employee rights and employer obligations pursuant to laws regarding minimum wage, overtime and hours of work, sick time, days of rest, record keeping, social security payments, unemployment insurance coverage, disability insurance coverage and workers’ compensation. Such statement of rights and obligations shall be prepared and distributed by the commissioner to licensed employment agencies over which the commissioner has jurisdiction.
  2. Every employment agency engaged in the job placement of domestic or household employees shall keep on file in its principal place of business for a period of three (3) years a statement, signed by the employer of a domestic or household employee whom the employment agency has placed with such employer, indicating that the employer has read and understands the statement of rights and obligations he or she received pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section.

§ 20-772 Statement of job conditions; records.

  1. Every licensed employment agency under the jurisdiction of the commissioner and engaged in the job placement of domestic or household employees shall provide to each applicant for employment as a domestic or household employee a written statement, in a form approved by the commissioner, of the job conditions of each potential employment position to which the agency recommends that the applicant apply. Each such statement shall fully and accurately describe the nature and terms of employment, including the name and address of the person to whom the applicant is to apply for such employment, the name and address of the person authorizing the hiring for such position, wages, hours of work, the kind of services to be performed and agency fee.
  2. Every employment agency engaged in the job placement of domestic or household employees shall keep on file in its principal place of business for a period of three (3) years a duplicate copy of the written statement of job conditions required by subdivision (a) of this section.

§ 20-773 Enforcement.

In order to implement and carry out the requirements of this subchapter, the commissioner or his or her duly authorized agent or inspector shall have the same authority as set forth in section 189 of article 11 of the general business law.

§ 20-774 Violations.

Any person who violates, and the officers of a corporation and stockholders holding ten percent or more of the stock of a corporation which is not publicly traded, who knowingly permit the corporation to violate, subdivisions (a) and (b) of sections 20-771 and 20- 20-772 of this subchapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be subject to a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars, or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, by any court of competent jurisdiction. Criminal proceedings based upon violations of such subdivisions may be instituted by the commissioner and/or any persons aggrieved by such violations.

Subchapter 14-a: Immigration Assistance Services

§ 20-775 Definitions.

For the purpose of this subchapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

  1. “Immigration assistance service” means providing any form of assistance, in the city of New York, for a fee or other compensation, to persons who have come, or plan to come to the United States from a foreign country, or their representatives, in relation to any proceeding, filing or action affecting the non-immigrant, immigrant or citizenship status of a person, which arises under the immigration and nationality law, executive order or presidential proclamation, or which arises under actions or regulations of the United States department of homeland security, the United States department of justice, the United States department of labor, or the United States department of state.
  2. “Provider” means any person, including but not limited to a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, sole proprietorship or natural person, that provides immigration assistance services, but shall not include:

   1. any person who is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state, possession, territory, commonwealth or the District of Columbia, and is not under any order of any court suspending, enjoining, restraining, disbarring, or otherwise restricting him or her in the practice of law, or any person working directly under the supervision of the person admitted;

   2. any tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization that provides immigration assistance services without a fee or other payment from individuals or at nominal fees as defined by the United States department of justice and any employee of such organization acting within the scope of his or her employment;

   3. any tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization recognized by the United States department of justice that provides immigration assistance services via representatives accredited by the department to appear before the United States citizenship and immigration services and/or executive office for immigration review, that does not charge a fee or charges nominal fees as defined by the department, and any duly accredited employee of such organization acting within the scope of his or her employment;

   4. any authorized agency under subdivision ten of section three hundred seventy-one of the New York state social services law and the employees of such organization when acting within the scope of such employment;

   5. any elected official who, acting within the scope of his or her official capacity, without a fee or other payment makes inquiries on behalf of an individual to any governmental authority responsible for administering any program, law or regulation affecting the non-immigrant, immigrant or citizenship status of a person;

   6. any employee of the office of the mayor or an executive agency of the city of New York who, acting within the scope of his or her capacity as an employee of the office of the mayor or an executive agency of the city of New York, without a fee or other payment makes inquires on behalf of an individual to any governmental authority responsible for administering any program, law or regulation affecting the non-immigrant, immigrant or citizenship status of a person; or

   7. any individual providing representation in an immigration-related proceeding under federal law for which federal law or regulation establishes such individual’s authority to appear.

§ 20-776 Prohibited conduct.

In the course of providing immigration assistance services, no provider may:

  1. State or imply that the provider can or will obtain special favors from or has special influence with any governmental entity, or threaten to report the customer to immigration or other authorities or threaten to undermine in any way the customer’s immigration status or attempt to secure lawful status;
  2. Demand or retain any fees or compensation for services not performed, or costs that are not actually incurred;
  3. Fail to provide a customer with copies of documents submitted to, or received from, a governmental entity within two weeks of submission or receipt or refuse to return original documents supplied by, prepared on behalf of, or paid for by the customer, upon the request of the customer, or upon termination of the contract. Original documents must be returned promptly upon request and upon cancellation of the contract, even if there is a fee dispute between the provider and the customer;
  4. Fail to provide the customer with a signed form affirming receipt of an original document, as well as a complete copy of such document, immediately upon taking possession of such original document for submission or any other purpose;
  5. Assume, use or advertise the title of lawyer or attorney at law, or equivalent terms in the English language or any other language, or represent or advertise other titles or credentials, including but not limited to “Notary Public,” “Accredited Representative of the Board of Immigration Appeals,” “Notario Public,” “Notario Publico,” “Notario,” “Immigration Specialist” or “Immigration Consultant,” that could cause a customer to believe that the person is authorized to provide advice on an immigration matter; provided that a notary public licensed by the secretary of state may use the term “Notary Public”;
  6. Give any legal advice concerning an immigration matter, including selecting, or advising the customer on selecting, a governmental agency form in order to apply for an immigration-related benefit, or otherwise engage in the practice of law;
  7. Make a determination of, or advise about, a person’s immigration status, including advising him or her on how to respond to questions on a governmental form regarding such determination;
  8. Make any guarantee or promise to a customer, unless there is a basis in fact for such representation, such representation does not relate to eligibility for an immigration-related benefit, and the guarantee or promise is in writing and attached to the service contract;
  9. Represent that a fee may be charged, or charge a fee for the distribution, provision or submission of any official document or form issued or promulgated by a state or federal governmental entity; or for a referral of the customer to another person or entity that is qualified to provide services or assistance which the provider will not provide;
  10. Refer, for a fee or other compensation, a customer to an attorney or any other individual or entity that can provide services that such provider cannot provide;
  11. Guarantee the expedition of any immigration-related benefit, pursuant to an actual or fabricated relationship with or access to government employees who have the ability to expedite applications or other documentation, or issue a favorable decision for any reasons other than the merits of such application or documentation;
  12. Provide information to any person about his or her, or his or her family member’s potential eligibility for a particular immigration-related benefit or status, or other governmental benefit, with the intent to induce such person to employ the services of such provider, regardless of whether the information is true or false;
  13. Disclose any information to, or submit any forms or documents with, any third party, including immigration or other authorities, on behalf of or relating to the customer without the knowledge and consent of the customer except where such disclosure or such submission is required by law. A provider shall notify the customer in writing when such provider has disclosed any information to or submitted any form or document with immigration or other authorities when such disclosure or submission was required by law and performed without the knowledge and consent of the customer.

§ 20-777 Written Agreement.

No immigration assistance services shall be provided until the customer has executed a written contract with the provider. The contract shall be in a language understood by the customer, either alone or with the assistance of an interpreter, and, if that language is not English, an English language version of the contract must also be provided. A copy of the contract shall be provided to the customer immediately upon the customer’s execution of the contract. The interpreter shall provide an attestation affirming the accuracy of the translation, to be attached to the contract. The customer has the right to cancel the contract within three business days after his or her execution of the contract, without fee or penalty. The right to cancel the contract within three days without payment of any fee may be waived when services must be provided immediately to avoid a forfeiture of eligibility or other loss of rights or privileges, and the customer furnishes the provider with a separate dated and signed statement, by the customer or his or her representative, describing the need for services to be provided within three days and expressly acknowledging and waiving the right to cancel the contract within three days. The contract may be cancelled at any time after execution. If the contract is cancelled more than three days after execution, or within three days after execution if the right to cancel without fee has been waived, the provider may retain fees for services rendered, and any additional amounts actually expended on behalf of the customer. All other amounts must be returned to the customer within fifteen days after cancellation. The written contract shall be in plain language, in at least twelve point font and shall include the following:

  1. The name, address and telephone number of the provider.
  2. Itemization of all services to be provided to the customer, as well as the fees and costs to be charged to the customer for each service.
  3. A statement that original documents submitted in connection with an application for an immigration-related benefit made to any governmental entity, may not be retained by the provider for any reason, including the customer’s failure to pay fees or costs.
  4. A statement that the provider shall give the customer a signed form affirming receipt of each original document, as well as a complete copy of such document, immediately upon taking possession of such original document for submission or any other purpose.
  5. A statement that the provider shall give the customer a copy of each document prepared with the provider’s assistance.
  6. A statement that the customer is not required to obtain supporting documents through the provider, and may obtain such documents himself or herself, along with the statement: “The U.S. government provides information on required forms and documentation for free online and by phone.”
  7. The statement: “You may cancel this contract at any time. You have three (3) business days to cancel this contract without penalty and get back any fees that you have already paid. Notice of cancellation may be made by completing the cancellation form included in this contract, or by otherwise notifying the provider in writing and delivering such form or notification to the provider in person or by United States mail to (specify address). If you cancel this contract you will get back any documents you submitted to the provider.”
  8. Each contract shall contain a separate final page titled “Cancellation Form.” The cancellation form shall contain the following statement: “I hereby cancel the contract of (date of contract) between (name of provider, address of provider, and phone number of provider) and (name of customer).” Below the statement shall be a customer signature and date line. Below the signature and date line, the form shall contain the statement required by this paragraph, printed in 12 point font or larger.
  9. A statement that the provider has financial surety in effect for the benefit of any customer in the event that the customer is owed a refund, or is damaged by the actions of the provider, together with the name, address and telephone number of the surety.
  10. The statement: “The individual providing assistance to you under this contract is not an attorney licensed to practice law or accredited by the United States department of justice to provide representation to you before the federal government or any immigration authority and may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice. For a free legal referral call the Office for New Americans hotline at (phone number of the Office for New Americans), the New York State Office of the Attorney General (phone number of the Office of the Attorney General), or your local district attorney or prosecutor.” The provider shall be responsible for providing the most recent and accurate information required by this paragraph.
  11. The statement: “The individual providing assistance to you under this contract is prohibited from disclosing any of your personal information to, or submitting any forms or documents on your behalf with, immigration or other authorities without your knowledge and consent except as required by law.” A provider shall promptly notify the customer in writing when such provider has disclosed any information to or submitted any form or document with immigration or other authorities when such disclosure or submission was required by law and done without the knowledge and consent of the customer.
  12. The statement: “A copy of all forms completed and documents accompanying the forms shall be kept by the service provider for three years. A copy of the customer’s file shall be provided to the customer on demand and without fee.”
  13. On the same page as the signature line, the statement: “The individual providing assistance to you under the terms of this contract must explain the contents of this contract to you and answer any questions you may have regarding the terms of this contract.”
  14. Each contract shall contain the department’s publicly available “Consumer Bill of Rights” on a separate page. The provider shall be responsible for providing the most recent version of the document available on the department’s website.

§ 20-777.1 Posting of Signs.

  1. A provider must post signs conspicuously at every location where that provider meets with customers. Such signs shall be made available by the department in English and in the top six limited English proficiency languages spoken by the population of New York city as determined by the department of the city planning and the office of the language services coordinator, based on United States census data. Providers shall post such signs in English and in any language in which services are offered by the provider. To the extent the department has made available a sign in a language required to be posted by such provider, such provider must use such sign. There shall be a separate sign for each language, and each sign shall be posted in a location where it will be visible to customers. Such signs shall state the following: “THE INDIVIDUAL PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO YOU UNDER THIS CONTRACT IS NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW OR ACCREDITED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO PROVIDE REPRESENTATION TO YOU BEFORE THE UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW, THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE OR ANY IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES AND MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE. FOR A FREE LEGAL REFERRAL CALL THE OFFICE FOR NEW AMERICANS HOTLINE AT (PHONE NUMBER OF THE OFFICE FOR NEW AMERICANS). TO FILE A COMPLAINT ABOUT AN IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE SERVICE PROVIDER CALL NEW YORK STATE OFFICE FOR NEW AMERICANS AT (PHONE NUMBER OF THE OFFICE FOR NEW AMERICANS), THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AT (PHONE NUMBER OF THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL), OR YOUR LOCAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY OR PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE AT (PHONE NUMBER OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN THE COUNTY WHERE THE PROVIDER PROVIDES SERVICES).” The provider shall be responsible for providing the most recent and accurate information required by this section. A separate sign shall be posted in a location visible to customers in conspicuous size font and that contains the schedule of fees for services offered and the statement: “YOU MAY CANCEL ANY CONTRACT WITHIN 3 BUSINESS DAYS AND GET BACK YOUR DOCUMENTS AND ANY MONEY YOU PAID.”
  2. Signs required by this section must be at least 11 inches by 17 inches, in no less than 60 point font.

§ 20-777.2 Advertisements.

  1. Every provider who advertises immigration assistance services by signs, pamphlets, newspapers or any other means shall post or otherwise include with the advertisement a notice in English and in the language in which the advertisement appears. The notice must be of a conspicuous size and must state: “The individual offering to provide immigration assistance services is not an attorney licensed to practice law or accredited by the United States department of justice to provide representation before the United States citizenship and immigration services, the executive office for immigration review, the department of homeland security, the department of justice, the department of labor, the department of state or any immigration authorities and may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice.”
  2. No advertisement for immigration assistance services may expressly or implicitly guarantee any particular governmental action, including but not limited to the granting of employment authorization, lawful permanent resident status or citizenship.

§ 20-778 Document Retention.

Every provider shall retain copies of all documents prepared or obtained in connection with a customer’s request for assistance for a period of three years after a written contract is executed by the provider and the customer, whether or not such contract is subsequently cancelled.

§ 20-779 Surety.

Unless otherwise required by New York state law, every provider must maintain in full force and effect, for the entire period during which the provider provides immigration assistance services and for one year after the provider ceases to do business as a provider of immigration assistance services, a bond, contract of indemnity, or irrevocable letter of credit, payable to the people of the city of New York, in the principal amount of fifty thousand dollars. Such surety shall be for the benefit of any person who does not receive a refund of fees from the provider to which he or she is entitled, or is otherwise injured by the provider. The Commissioner on behalf of the person or the person in his or her own name may maintain an action against the provider and the surety.

§ 20-779.1 Penalties.

    1. Criminal Penalties. Any provider who violates any provision of this subchapter shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

   (2) Civil Penalties. Any provider of immigration assistance services who violates any provision of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars for the first violation and for each succeeding violation a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars.

  1. A proceeding to recover any civil penalty authorized pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation that shall be returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department of consumer affairs.

§ 20-779.2 Civil Cause of Action.

Any person claiming to be injured by the failure of a provider of immigration assistance services to comply with the provisions of this subchapter shall have a cause of action against such provider of immigration assistance services in any court of competent jurisdiction for any or all of the following relief:

  1. actual compensatory and punitive damages or two thousand five hundred dollars, whichever is greater;
  2. injunctive and declaratory relief;
  3. attorney’s fees and costs; and
  4. such other relief as a court deems appropriate.

§ 20-779.3 Rules.

The commissioner may promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary for the purposes of implementing and carrying out the provisions of this subchapter. Upon a finding by the commissioner that the requirements of state law applicable to providers of immigration services are substantially the same as the requirements of this subchapter, compliance with state law shall be deemed to be compliance with the requirements of this subchapter.

§ 20-779.4 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or other portion of this subchapter is, for any reason, declared unconstitutional or invalid, in whole or in part, by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed severable, and such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this law, which shall continue in full force and effect.

§ 20-779.5 Reporting.

  1. In conjunction with the mayor’s office of immigrant affairs, the department shall prepare and submit to the mayor and the speaker of the city council a report that includes the following information related to providers of immigration assistance services:

   1. the number of complaints received related to providers of immigration assistance services, disaggregated by source and type;

   2. the number of proactive investigations that do not stem from a complaint conducted by the department;

   3. the number of violations issued, disaggregated by type;

   4. the number of the violations issued that originated with a consumer complaint;

   5. the number of violations issued as a result of a proactive investigation by the department;

   6. the length of time the department required to investigate and determine whether to issue a violation for each complaint received;

   7. a description of the department’s efforts to proactively investigate providers of immigration assistance services;

   8. a description of the department’s efforts to collaborate with other law enforcement agencies on investigation, enforcement, and community education efforts; and

   9. a description of changing trends in the provision of services and common fraudulent schemes.

  1. Such report shall be submitted on or before October 1, 2017 and every six months thereafter until the year 2020, and shall include the information required by subdivision a of this section as it relates to the six month period prior to the submission of such report.

§ 20-779.6 Community Outreach and Education.

  1. In conjunction with the mayor’s office of immigrant affairs, the department shall engage in community outreach and education efforts to raise awareness about topics including but not limited to common fraudulent schemes committed by providers of immigration assistance services and the department’s complaint mechanisms and services.

§ 20-779.7 Consumer Bill of Rights.

  1. In conjunction with the mayor’s office of immigrant affairs, the department shall create a “Consumer Bill of Rights” for customers seeking assistance from providers of immigration assistance services. Such bill of rights shall be posted on the department’s website in English, as well as in the top six limited English proficiency languages spoken by the population of New York city as determined by the department of the city planning and the office of the language services coordinator, based on United States census data.

Subchapter 15: Payday Loans*

§ 20-780 Definitions.

  1. “Person” shall mean any individual, firm, partnership, trust, association, corporation or other legal entity. This term shall not include any individual, firm, partnership, trust, association, corporation or other legal entity that accepts federally insured deposits, such as national banks, state-chartered banks, or savings and loan associations, or any individual, firm, partnership, trust, association, corporation or other legal entity regulated by or subject to the rules and regulations of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or Office of Thrift Supervision of the Department of the Treasury.
  2. “Payday loan,” also known as, among other terms, “deferred deposit advances,” “cash on demand” or “cash advance,” shall mean any transaction in which funds are provided to a consumer for a limited time period in exchange for (i) a consumer’s personal check or share draft, in the amount of the funds provided to the consumer plus a fee, where presentment or negotiation of such check or share draft is deferred by agreement of the parties until a designated future date; or (ii) a consumer’s authorization to debit the consumer’s transaction account, in the amount of the funds provided to the consumer plus a fee, where such account will be debited on or after a designated future date.

§ 20-781 Disclosure of loan information.

Before any consumer enters into a payday loan, the person offering, providing, or facilitating such loan shall provide to the consumer in writing all disclosure required pursuant to the federal Truth in Lending Act in addition to the following disclosure, in English and Spanish, in at least 20-point type:

YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ENTER INTO THIS PAYDAY LOAN AGREEMENT MERELY BECAUSE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THIS INFORMATION.
IF YOU DO SIGN A CONTRACT FOR A PAYDAY LOAN, YOU WILL BE TAKING OUT A LOAN. YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR REPAYMENT OF THE ENTIRE LOAN AMOUNT AND ALL RELATED COSTS AND FEES.
IF YOU CANNOT PAY OFF THIS LOAN IN FULL, THE LENDER MIGHT NOT PERMIT YOU TO MAKE A PARTIAL PAYMENT. IN THAT SITUATION, YOU MAY BE REQUIRED TO TAKE OUT AN ADDITIONAL PAYDAY LOAN TO PAY OFF YOUR INITIAL DEBT.
EACH TIME YOU EXTEND THIS PAYDAY LOAN OR TAKE OUT AN ADDITIONAL PAYDAY LOAN, YOU WILL BE CHARGED ADDITIONAL COSTS AND FEES.
IF YOU DO TAKE OUT THIS PAYDAY LOAN, YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE TO PAY $ [insert amount] IN FINANCE CHARGES FOR THE LOAN. AFTER THESE FINANCE CHARGES ARE PAID, YOU WILL RECEIVE APPROXIMATELY $ [insert amount] AS YOUR LOAN.
THE ESTIMATED ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE OF YOUR PAYDAY LOAN IS [insert amount]%. THIS IS THE COST OF YOUR CREDIT AT A YEARLY RATE.

It shall be the obligation of the person offering, providing, or facilitating the payday loan to complete the required disclosure accurately with all relevant information for each consumer and to ensure that the completed disclosure form is signed by the consumer before he or she enters into the payday loan.

§ 20-782 Consumer information.

Not later than the first day of February of the year two thousand and five and on a quarterly basis thereafter, not later than February first, May first, August first, and November first of each year, any person offering, providing, or facilitating a payday loan in New York city shall submit to the department of consumer affairs and the council the residential zipcode of each consumer who lives within the city boundaries and has entered into a payday loan during the immediately preceding quarter.

§ 20-783 Penalties.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this subchapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for each violation.

§ 20-784 Hearing authority.

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall be authorized upon due notice and hearing, to impose civil penalties for the violation of any provision of this subchapter. The department shall have the power to render decisions and orders and to impose civil penalties not to exceed the amounts specified in section 20-783 of this subchapter for each such violation. All proceedings authorized pursuant to this subdivision shall be conducted in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner. The remedies and penalties provided for in this subdivision shall be in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided for the enforcement of such provisions under any other law including, but not limited to, civil or criminal actions or proceedings.
  1. All such proceedings shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of notices of violation. The notice of violation or copy thereof when filled in and served shall constitute notice of the violation charged, and, if sworn to or affirmed, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein.

Subchapter 15: Disclosure of Information By Child Care Facilities*

§ 20-800 Definitions.

  1. “Child care provider” means any individual, association, corporation, partnership, institution, organization or agency that has obtained a license, registration certificate or permit, pursuant to section 390 of the New York state social services law or articles 5 and 47 of title 24 of the rules of the city** New York, to provide child day care services or to operate a facility where child day care is provided.
  • Editor’s note: so in original.
  1. “Child care inspection report” means either a summary day care service inspection report or any report issued by a regulatory authority in the state of New York regarding a child care provider.
  2. “License” means a document issued by the New York state office of children and family services authorizing a child care provider to operate a group family day care home in accordance with state law and regulation.
  3. “Parent” means custodial parent(s), legal guardian(s), other persons having legal custody of a child or any other person with whom a child lives who has assumed responsibility for the day-to-day care and custody of the child.
  4. “Permit” means a document issued by the New York city department of health and mental hygiene authorizing a day care services provider to operate a day care service in accordance with local law and regulation.
  5. “Registration” means a document issued by the New York state office of children and family services authorizing a child care provider to operate family day care program or a school-age child care program in accordance with state law and regulation.
  6. “Summary day care service inspection report” is a document that includes, at a minimum, the following information:

   (1) the name of the day care service;

   (2) the name of the day care service permittee;

   (3) the day care service permit number and expiration date;

   (4) the address of the day care service;

   (5) the date of inspection;

   (6) the maximum number of children authorized to be present at any one time as specified in the day care service permit;

   (7) any violations identified by the department during the inspection;

   (8) whether a permit was ordered suspended or revoked in the past 24 months; and

   (9) whether a day care service was ordered closed because its continued operation represented a danger to the health or safety of children; and the terms and conditions, if any, under which such day care service has been allowed to reopen and is authorized to operate.

§ 20-801 Posting of information.

Every child care provider must post a sign in a conspicuous place near its public entrance or entrances stating that the most recent child care inspection report for the provider may be accessed through the website of the department of health and mental hygiene or the website of the New York state office of children and family services. At a minimum, the sign must contain the name of the child care provider, the address and license or registration number of the child care provider and maximum capacity of the child care facility and the number of staff employed by the child care facility as required by law or regulation. The sign must be printed in clear and legible type, in such a manner as to be readily visible to customers and must indicate how to gain access to child care inspection reports through the department’s website.

§ 20-802 Informational materials.

Every child care provider must include, along with informational or application materials, a copy of the most recent summary day care service inspection report. In addition, informational or application materials furnished to parents and prospective parents shall explicitly state the maximum capacity of the child care facility and the number of staff employed by the child care facility as required by law or regulation.

§ 20-803 Notice of violations.

Any child care provider that has been notified by the New York state office of children and family services or by the New York city department of health and mental hygiene that it has been cited for having a serious violation of licensing, registration or permit requirements of either section 390 of the New York state social services law or the regulations promulgated thereunder or articles 5 and 47 of title 24 of the New York city health code, must notify the parents of children receiving care from the child care provider that the child care provider is in violation of the licensing, registration or permit requirements within 24 hours of receiving such notification. The requirement of this provision may be satisfied by posting a sign on the front door of the child care facility for at least one week after such notification or by furnishing a copy of the report specifically noting the violation to all parents of children receiving care from the child care provider.

§ 20-804 Penalties.

Any child care provider who violates any provision of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for each violation.

§ 20-805 Rules.

The commissioner shall have the authority to promulgate such rules and regulations as the commissioner shall deem necessary to implement the provisions of this subchapter.

§ 20-806 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or other portion of this subchapter is, for any reason, declared unconstitutional or invalid, in whole or in part, by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed severable, and such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this law, which shall continue in full force and effect.

Subchapter 16: Tenant Screening Report Disclosure

§ 20-807 Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply:

  1. “Application information” means all information any prospective tenant or tenants is/are required to provide in connection with renting or leasing residential real property, the purpose of which is to gather information about such prospective tenant or tenants, including, but not limited to personal information such as names, addresses, contact information, social security numbers, employment history, rental history or other information pertinent to entering into a real estate tenancy agreement.
  2. “Consumer reporting agency” means any person who, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports, tenant screening reports or other investigative consumer reports to third parties.
  3. “Person” means any natural person, firm, partnership, joint venture, corporation or association.
  4. “Tenant screening report” means any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, history of contact with any housing, civil or criminal court of any state, or mode of living, which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing a consumer’s suitability for housing.

§ 20-808 Disclosure.

  1. Any person who requests application information directly from a prospective tenant or tenants or such tenant(s)’ agent or agents shall disclose to the prospective tenant or tenants the following:

   (i) either:

      (1) that the application information provided by the prospective tenant or tenants may be used to obtain a tenant screening report and the name and address of the consumer reporting agency or agencies which will be used to obtain such report, or

      (2) that the application information provided will not be used to obtain a tenant screening report and that the person requesting such information, and his or her agent(s), do not use tenant screening reports to determine a prospective tenant or tenants’ suitability for housing; and

   (ii) that pursuant to federal and state law:

      (1) if the person requesting the information takes adverse action against a prospective tenant or tenants on the basis of information contained in a tenant screening report, such person must notify the tenant that such action was taken and supply the name and address of the consumer reporting agency that provided the tenant screening report on the basis of which such action was taken;

      (2) any prospective tenant against whom adverse action was taken based on information contained in a tenant screening report has the right to inspect and receive a free copy of such report by contacting the consumer reporting agency;

      (3) every tenant or prospective tenant is entitled to one free tenant screening report from each national consumer reporting agency annually, in addition to a credit report that should be obtained from www.annualcreditreport.com and

      (4) every tenant or prospective tenant may dispute inaccurate or incorrect information contained in a tenant screening report directly with the consumer reporting agency.

  1. If application information is requested in writing, the statements required by subdivision a of this section shall be in writing, located immediately adjacent to where personal information is requested, and set off in a box and printed in a color that sharply contrasts with the print surrounding it. If application information is requested orally, the person requesting such information shall provide written copies of the statements required by subdivision a of this section.

§ 20-809 Posting of signs.

  1. Any person requesting application information from a prospective tenant or tenants shall post a sign, the form and manner of which shall be determined by rule of the commissioner, in any location at which the principal purpose is conducting business transactions pertaining to the rental of residential real estate properties. Such sign shall be posted in a location visible to potential subjects of such reports and shall disclose in conspicuous size type the name and address of all consumer reporting agencies used. Such sign shall also contain a statement that consumers are entitled to one free tenant screening report from each consumer reporting agency annually and may dispute inaccurate or incorrect information contained in such tenant screening report directly with the consumer reporting agency.
  2. A person requesting application information who has the right to rent or lease housing units in one building with five or fewer housing units that is owned and occupied by such person shall not be required to post a sign pursuant to subdivision a of this section in such building.

§ 20-810 Violations.

A person violating sections 20-808 or 20-809 of this subchapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for the first violation; except that a person shall not be subject to the civil penalty described above for a first-time violation of section 20-809 of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, if such person proves to the satisfaction of the department, within thirty days of the issuance of the notice of violation and prior to the commencement of an adjudication of the violation, that the violation has been cured. The submission of proof of a cure shall be deemed an admission of liability for all purposes. The option of presenting proof that the violation has been cured shall be offered as part of any settlement offer made by the department to a person who has received, for the first time, a notice of violation of section 20-809 of this subchapter or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder. The department shall permit such proof to be submitted electronically or in person. A person may seek review, in the department’s administrative tribunal, of the determination that the person has not submitted proof of a cure within fifteen days of receiving written notification of such determination.

§ 20-811 Hearing authority.

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall be authorized, upon due notice and hearing, to impose civil penalties for the violation of any provision of this subchapter and any rules promulgated thereunder. The department shall have the power to render decisions and orders and to impose civil penalties not to exceed the amounts specified in section 20-810 of this subchapter for each such violation. All proceedings authorized pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner. The penalties provided for in section 20-810 of this subchapter shall be in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided for the enforcement of such provisions under any other law including, but not limited to, civil or criminal actions or proceedings.
  2. All proceedings under this subchapter shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of notices of violation. The notice of violation or copy thereof when filled in and served shall constitute notice of the violation charged, and, if sworn to or affirmed, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein.

Subchapter 17: Pregnancy Services Centers

§ 20-815 Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

  1. “Abortion” shall mean the termination of a pregnancy for purposes other than producing a live birth, which includes but is not limited to a termination using pharmacological agents.
  2. “Client” shall mean an individual who is inquiring about or seeking services at a pregnancy services center.
  3. “Emergency contraception” shall mean one or more prescription drugs used separately or in combination, to prevent pregnancy, when administered to or self-administered by a patient, within a medically recommended amount of time after sexual intercourse, and dispensed for that purpose in accordance with professional standards of practice and determined by the United States food and drug administration to be safe.
  4. “Health information” shall mean any oral or written information in any form or medium that relates to health insurance and/or the past, present or future physical or mental health or condition of a client.
  5. “Licensed medical provider” shall mean a person licensed or otherwise authorized under the provisions of articles one hundred thirty-one, one hundred thirty-one-a, one hundred thirty-one-b, one hundred thirty-nine or one hundred forty of the education law of New York, to provide medical services.
  6. “Personal information” shall mean any or all of the following: the name, address, phone number, email address, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number or non-driver photo identification card number of a client, a relative of a client or a sexual partner of a client. This term shall apply to all such data, notwithstanding the method by which such information is maintained.
  7. “Pregnancy services center” shall mean a facility, including a mobile facility, the primary purpose of which is to provide services to women who are or may be pregnant, that either: (1) offers obstetric ultrasounds, obstetric sonograms or prenatal care; or (2) has the appearance of a licensed medical facility. Among the factors that shall be considered in determining whether a facility has the appearance of a licensed medical facility are the following: the pregnancy services center (a) offers pregnancy testing and/or pregnancy diagnosis; (b) has staff or volunteers who wear medical attire or uniforms; (c) contains one or more examination tables; (d) contains a private or semi-private room or area containing medical supplies and/or medical instruments; (e) has staff or volunteers who collect health insurance information from clients; and (f) is located on the same premises as a licensed medical facility or provider or shares facility space with a licensed medical provider. It shall be prima facie evidence that a facility has the appearance of a licensed medical facility if it has two or more of the factors listed in subparagraphs (a) through (f) of paragraph (2) of this subdivision. A pregnancy services center shall not include a facility that is licensed by the state of New York or the United States government to provide medical or pharmaceutical services or where a licensed medical provider is present to directly provide or directly supervise the provision of all services described in this subdivision that are provided at the facility.
  8. “Premises” shall mean land and improvements or appurtenances or any part thereof.
  9. “Prenatal care” shall mean services consisting of physical examination, pelvic examination or clinical laboratory services provided to a woman during pregnancy. Clinical laboratory services refers to the microbiological, serological, chemical, hematological, biophysical, cytological or pathological examination of materials derived from the human body, for purposes of obtaining information, for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of disease or the assessment of health condition.

§ 20-816 Required disclosures.

  1. A pregnancy services center shall disclose to a client that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene encourages women who are or who may be pregnant to consult with a licensed medical provider.
  2. A pregnancy services center shall disclose if it does or does not have a licensed medical provider on staff who provides or directly supervises the provision of all of the services at such pregnancy services center.
  3. A pregnancy services center shall disclose if it does or does not provide or provide referrals for abortion.
  4. A pregnancy services center shall disclose if it does or does not provide or provide referrals for emergency contraception.
  5. A pregnancy services center shall disclose if it does or does not provide or provide referrals for prenatal care.
  6. The disclosures required by this section must be provided:

   (1) in writing, in English and Spanish in a size and style as determined in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner on (i) at least one sign conspicuously posted in the entrance of the pregnancy services center; (ii) at least one additional sign posted in any area where clients wait to receive services; and (iii) in any advertisement promoting the services of such pregnancy services center in clear and prominent letter type and in a size and style to be determined in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner; and

   (2) orally, whether by in person or telephone communication, upon a client or prospective client request for any of the following services: (i) abortion; (ii) emergency contraception; or (iii) prenatal care.

§ 20-817 Confidentiality of health and personal information.

  1. All health information and personal information provided by a client in the course of inquiring about or seeking services at a pregnancy services center shall be treated as confidential and not disclosed to any other individual, company or organization unless such client, in writing, requests or consents to the release of such information, or disclosure is required by operation of law or court order.
  2. Any consent for the release of health or personal information required pursuant to subdivision a of this section must:

   (1) be in writing, dated and signed by the client;

   (2) identify the nature of the information to be disclosed;

   (3) identify the name and institutional affiliation of the person or class of persons to whom the information is to be disclosed;

   (4) identify the organization or individual who is to make the disclosure;

   (5) identify the client;

   (6) contain an expiration date or an expiration event that relates to the client or the purpose of the use or disclosure.

  1. Any client that consents to the release of health or personal information pursuant to subdivision b of this section must have a clear and complete understanding of the nature of such release and the content of such information.
  2. Notwithstanding subdivisions a and b of this section, if any pregnancy services center employee or volunteer has reasonable cause to suspect that a client receiving services at a pregnancy services center is an abused or maltreated child, such employee or volunteer may report such abuse to the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment in accordance with section four-hundred thirteen or four-hundred fourteen of the social services law of New York, and to the administration for children’s services, and/or the police department, and cooperate in the investigation related thereto to the extent permitted by applicable state and federal law. For the purposes of this subdivision, “abused child” and “maltreated child” shall be defined in accordance with section four-hundred twelve of the social services law of New York, or as a person under the age of eighteen whose parent or guardian legally responsible for such person’s care inflicts serious physical injury upon such person, creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury, or commits an act of sexual abuse against such person. Reporting child abuse and maltreatment as defined in this subdivision to an individual or entity other than the statewide central registrar of child abuse and maltreatment, the administration for children’s services or the police department shall be a violation of this section.

§ 20-818 Penalties.

  1. Any pregnancy services center that violates the provisions of sections 20-816 or 20-817 of this subchapter or any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for the first violation and a civil penalty of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand-five hundred dollars for each succeeding violation.
    1. If any pregnancy services center is found to have violated the provisions of section 20-816 on three or more separate occasions within two years, then, in addition to imposing the penalties set forth in subdivision a of this section, the commissioner, after notice and a hearing, shall be authorized to order that the pregnancy services center be sealed for a period not to exceed five consecutive days, except that such premises may be entered with the permission of the commissioner solely for actions necessary to remedy past violations of section 20-816 or prevent future violations or to make the premises safe. For the purposes of this subdivision, any violations at a pregnancy services center shall not be included in determining the number of violations of any subsequently established pregnancy services center at that location unless the commissioner establishes that the subsequent operator of such pregnancy services center acquired the premises or pregnancy services center, in whole or in part, for the purpose of permitting the previous operator of the pregnancy services center who had been found guilty of violating section 20-816 of this subchapter to avoid the effect of such violations.

   (2) Orders of the commissioner issued pursuant to paragraph one of this subdivision shall be posted at the premises that are the subject of the order(s).

   (3) Ten days after the posting of an order issued pursuant to paragraph one of this subdivision, and upon the written directive of the commissioner, officers and employees of the department and officers of the New York city police department are authorized to act upon and enforce such orders.

   (4) A closing directed by the department pursuant to paragraph one of this subdivision shall not constitute an act of possession, ownership or control by the city of the closed premises.

   (5) Mutilation or removal of a posted order of the commissioner or his designee shall be punishable by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding fifteen days, or both, provided such order contains therein a notice of such penalty. Any other intentional disobedience or resistance to any provision of the orders issued pursuant to paragraph one of this subdivision, including using or occupying or permitting any other person to use or occupy any premises ordered closed without the permission of the department as described in subdivision b shall, in addition to any other punishment prescribed by law, be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

  1. For the purposes of this section, all violations committed on any one day by any one pregnancy services center shall constitute a single violation.

§ 20-819 Hearing authority.

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department shall be authorized, upon due notice and hearing, to impose civil penalties for the violation of the provisions of this subchapter and any rules promulgated thereunder. The department shall have the power to render decisions and orders and to impose civil penalties not to exceed the amounts specified in section 20-818 of this subchapter for each such violation. All proceedings authorized pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner. The penalties provided for in section 20-818 of this subchapter shall be in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided for the enforcement of such provisions under any other law including, but not limited to, civil or criminal actions or proceedings.
  2. All proceedings under this subchapter shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department. Notice of any third violation for engaging in a violation of section 20-816 shall state that premises may be ordered sealed after a finding of a third violation. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of notices of violation. The notice of violation or copy thereof when filled in and served shall constitute notice of the violation charged, and, if sworn to or affirmed, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein.

§ 20-820 Civil cause of action.

Any person claiming to be injured by the failure of a pregnancy services center to comply with section 20-817 shall have a cause of action against such pregnancy services center in any court of competent jurisdiction for any or all of the following remedies: compensatory and punitive damages; injunctive and declaratory relief; attorney’s fees and costs; and such other relief as a court deems appropriate.

Subchapter 18: Prohibition on the Sale of Expired Over-the-counter Medication

§ 20-821 Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply:

  1. “Over-the-counter medication” means a drug, as defined by section 71.03(b) of the New York city health code, which does not require a prescription.
  2. “Person” means any natural person, firm, partnership, joint venture, corporation or association.

§ 20-822 Prohibited conduct and violations.

  1. It shall be unlawful to sell or offer for sale, any over-the-counter medication, later than the date, if any, marked upon the label as indicative of the date beyond which the contents cannot be expected to be safe and effective.
  2. Violations. A person violating section 20-822 of this subchapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not to exceed two hundred and fifty dollars for the first violation and a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars for any subsequent violation. In addition to such penalties, any person who violates this section shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred and fifty dollars for the first violation and of not less than two hundred and fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each subsequent violation. For purposes of this subdivision, each group of identical over-the-counter medication subject to this subchapter marked with the same date shall constitute a single violation. However, where the expired over-the-counter medication is sold to a person, each sale shall constitute a separate violation under this section. Penalties shall be enforced in accordance with subdivision g of section twenty-two hundred and three of the charter of the city of New York.

§ 20-823 Enforcement.

The department, the police department, and other agencies designated by the commissioner are authorized to enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

Subchapter 19: Conversion Therapy Prohibition [Repealed]

§ 20-824 Definitions. [Repealed]

(L.L. 2018/022, 12/31/2017, eff. 4/30/2018; repealed L.L. 2019/188, 10/26/2019, retro eff. 9/12/19)

§ 20-825 Prohibited conduct. [Repealed]

(L.L. 2018/022, 12/31/2017, eff. 4/30/2018; repealed L.L. 2019/188, 10/26/2019, retro eff. 9/12/19)

§ 20-826 Enforcement. [Repealed]

(L.L. 2018/022, 12/31/2017, eff. 4/30/2018; repealed L.L. 2019/188, 10/26/2019, retro eff. 9/12/19)

§ 20-827 Rules and regulations. [Repealed]

(L.L. 2018/022, 12/31/2017, eff. 4/30/2018; repealed L.L. 2019/188, 10/26/2019, retro eff. 9/12/19)

Subchapter 20: Required Disclosures by Bail Bond Agents

§ 20-830 Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

Bail bond business. The term “bail bond business” means any bail or insurance business, as described in subsection a of section 6801 of the insurance law.

Bail bond agent. The term “bail bond agent” means any individual, corporation, or other entity that acts as an agent or solicitor of a bail bond business in soliciting, negotiating, or effectuating any deposit or bail bond by such bail bond business as referenced in subsection a of section 6802 of the insurance law.

Designated citywide languages. The term “designated citywide languages” means the top six limited English proficiency languages spoken by the population of the city as determined, by the department of city planning and the office of the language services coordinator.

Premium or compensation. The term “premium or compensation” means “premium or compensation” as this term is used in section 6804 of the insurance law.

§ 20-831 Disclosures related to bail bonds.

  1. The department shall produce a consumer bill of rights regarding bail bond agents. The department shall provide the consumer bill of rights in a downloadable format on the department’s website in English and in the designated citywide languages. The consumer bill of rights shall include, but need not be limited to, the following information:

   1. What bail bond businesses and agents are and how the process of obtaining a bail bond works;

   2. What a bail bond agent is, and is not, required by law to do for a consumer;

   3. How to make a complaint regarding a bail bond business or bail bond agent, including the contact information for the city and state agencies to which a complaint may be directed;

   4. Explanations of the commonly offered services and commonly used industry terms, such as “premium or compensation” and “collateral,” including, but not limited to, the difference between nonrefundable premium or compensation and refundable collateral;

   5. A list of the maximum premium or compensation that can be charged for giving bail bond or depositing money or property as bail under section 6804 of the insurance law, including examples of the maximum premium or compensation for common bail amounts;

   6. A statement that a premium or compensation that exceeds the premium or compensation amounts permitted pursuant to section 6804 of the insurance law is illegal;

   7. That a consumer may negotiate the terms of the bail bond contract and take the contract off the premises where a transaction occurs for review prior to signing; and that the contract shall disclose when collateral is to be returned and under which conditions such collateral may be kept by the bail bond agent;

   8. That the consumer bill of rights is available upon request in the designated citywide languages; and

   9. A statement that a consumer may be eligible for refundable cash bail.

  1. A bail bond agent shall post in a conspicuous manner at its business and where transactions are executed, in a size and style to be determined by the commissioner, a sign stating the following:

   1. The license number of the bail bond agent;

   2. The registered name of the bail bond agent;

   3. All addresses and phone numbers registered under the license; and

   4. The name of any sublicensee registered under the license.

  1. Before entering into a contract with a consumer, a bail bond agent shall produce and distribute to every consumer the consumer bill of rights, a copy of which shall be signed and dated by the consumer, and a flier containing the information described in subdivision b of this section. Such agent shall distribute such consumer bill of rights in English and, if the consumer is a limited English proficient individual who speaks a designated citywide language and such agent knows or reasonably should know that the consumer is such an individual, such agent shall distribute the consumer bill of rights in such language as well.
  2. All receipts and contracts provided to consumers by a bail bond agent shall include:

   1. The name, license number, address, and phone number of the bail bond agent;

   2. The amount of the bond, when it will be paid, and the name of the bail bond business that issued the bond;

   3. A description of the collateral, when such collateral will be returned and under which conditions such collateral may be kept;

   4. The amount of the premium or compensation; and

   5. A statement of any money paid to a third party by the consumer and the purpose of such payment.

  1. Each bail bond agent shall provide to each consumer a copy of any document that the consumer signed, including but not limited to, any contract and the consumer bill of rights.
  2. A bail bond agent shall maintain physical or electronic copies of all receipts, contracts and signed copies of the consumer bill of rights for a period of five years and, upon request by the department, make such copies available for inspection in accordance with applicable law.
  3. A bail bond agent shall maintain records of the names of any persons employed or subcontracted to interact with consumers for a period of three years and, upon request by the department, make such records available for inspection in accordance with applicable law.

§ 20-832 Disclosure of premium or compensation for bail bond services.

  1. A bail bond agent shall post in a conspicuous manner, at the location where transactions are executed, a sign, to be produced by the department and made available online, that shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:

   1. A list of the maximum premium or compensation that can be charged for giving bail bond or depositing money or property as bail under section 6804 of the insurance law;

   2. That such premium or compensation represents the maximum amounts, excluding collateral, that a bail bond agent can charge for services;

   3. That a consumer is entitled to receive and must sign a consumer bill of rights before entering a contract with a bail bond agent; and

   4. That a consumer may make a complaint to the department or the relevant state agencies as illustrated in the consumer bill of rights.

  1. The department shall make information available to inform consumers of their right to make a complaint to the department or the relevant state agencies when a bail bond agent charges more than the maximum premium or compensation permitted under section 6804 of the insurance law.

§ 20-833 Rules.

The department is authorized to promulgate such rules as it deems necessary to implement and enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

§ 20-835 Civil penalties.

  1. Any person that violates any provision of this subchapter or any rule promulgated pursuant to this subchapter is liable for a civil penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 for each violation. A proceeding to recover any civil penalty authorized pursuant to this subchapter is returnable to any tribunal established within the office of administrative trials and hearings or within any agency of the city designated to conduct such proceedings.
  2. A bail bond business that is party to a transaction in which a violation occurred shall be liable for any civil penalty imposed on a bail bond agent.

Chapter 6: No-fault Insurance Medical Clinics

§ 20-900 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

  1. “Clinic” shall mean any private, non-residential medical facility or practice, other than a hospital as defined in article 28 of the public health law, which provides health care services in the city of New York relating to injuries sustained as a result of motor vehicle accidents.
  2. “Control”, including the terms “controlling”, “controlled by” and “under common control by or with”, shall mean the possession, direct or indirect, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of an institution, whether through ownership of voting securities, by contract or otherwise.
  3. “Health care provider” shall mean any physician or other health care professional, including, but not limited to, dentists, nurses, x-ray technicians, physical or occupational therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors and mental health service professionals, licensed to practice in New York state.
  4. “Health care services” shall mean any health or mental health services provided by a health care provider relating to injuries sustained as a result of an actual or alleged motor vehicle accident, including but not limited to medical, hospital, surgical, nursing, dental, ambulance, x-ray, diagnostic, prescription drug, prosthetic, psychiatric, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, and physical or occupational therapy and rehabilitation services.
  5. “Insured” shall mean any person who owns a policy of insurance issued by a no-fault motor vehicle insurer that insures against losses or liabilities arising out of the ownership, operation, or use of a motor vehicle.
  6. “Medical benefits” shall mean full or partial payments for health care services.
  7. “Motor vehicle” shall mean any vehicle operated upon a public highway or public street propelled by any power other than muscular power.
  8. “No-fault insurance medical clinic” shall mean any clinic that is subject to the requirements of this chapter.
  9. “No-fault motor vehicle insurance medical claim” shall mean any claim for medical benefits submitted to a no-fault motor vehicle insurer under a policy issued by such no-fault motor vehicle insurer pursuant to article 51 of the New York state insurance law, which provides “first party benefits” as that term is defined in section 5102 (b) of such article.
  10. “No-fault motor vehicle insurer” shall mean any insurer, company, corporation, partnership or other individual or entity authorized to transact or transacting business in New York state, or controlling or controlled by or under common control by or with such insurer, company, corporation, partnership or other individual or entity, which sells policies of insurance that insure against losses or liabilities arising out of the ownership, operation, or use of a motor vehicle.
  11. “Owner” shall mean any owner, manager, operator or other person or persons having control of a clinic and any authorized agent thereof.
  12. “Runner” shall mean any person who, for a pecuniary benefit, procures or attempts to procure a client, patient or customer when such person knows, or a reasonable person would know, that the purpose of an owner of a no-fault motor vehicle insurance medical clinic is to falsely or fraudulently: (i) obtain medical benefits from a no-fault motor vehicle insurer; or (ii) assert a claim against an insured or a no-fault motor vehicle insurer for the provision of health care services to such client, patient or customer; provided, however, that such term shall not include a person who procures or attempts to procure clients, patients or customers through public media or a person who refers clients, patients or customers as authorized by law. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prohibit an agent, broker or employee of a health maintenance organization from seeking to sell health maintenance organization coverage or health insurance coverage to any individual or group.

§ 20-901 Reports.

  1. Where fifty percent or more of the billings for medical benefits filed by any clinic within the preceding twelve months were no-fault motor vehicle insurance medical claims, the owner of such clinic shall submit a report to the department pursuant to paragraph c of this subdivision.
  2. Where fifty percent or more of the billings for medical benefits filed by all clinics owned by the same owner within the preceding twelve months were no-fault motor vehicle insurance medical claims, the owner of such clinics shall submit a report to the department pursuant to paragraph c of this subdivision.
  3. Beginning December 1, 2006, any report to the department required by this section shall include: (i) the name, physical address and telephone number of each clinic under the control of such clinic’s owner; (ii) the name, address and telephone number of all owners of each clinic; (iii) the name, address and telephone number of any management company hired by each clinic, if applicable; and (iv) the percentage of total medical bills filed within the preceding twelve months that were no-fault motor vehicle insurance medical claims, disaggregated by clinic, where applicable. Any owner of a no-fault insurance medical clinic shall attach to such report a sworn statement stating that: (1) within the preceding twelve months, no-fault motor vehicle insurance claims comprised fifty percent or more of the total billings of an individual clinic or all clinics owned by such owner; provided, however, that the department shall not require disclosure of the actual amount of no-fault insurance medical claims billed by any such clinic; and (2) such clinic does not use, solicit, direct, hire or employ any runners.

§ 20-902 Prohibited acts.

  1. No owner of a no-fault insurance medical clinic shall use, solicit, direct, hire or employ any runner.
  2. No person shall act as a runner.

§ 20-903 Rules.

The commissioner shall promulgate any rules as may be necessary for the purposes of implementing and enforcing this chapter.

§ 20-904 Violations and penalties.

  1. Any person who violates section 20-901 of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars for each violation; provided, however, that the commissioner shall issue a written warning in lieu of a civil penalty where the commissioner finds that such person violated such section due to his or her reasonable belief that the percentage of billings for no-fault motor vehicle insurance medical claims filed by his or her clinic or clinics was not at or above fifty percent during the preceding twelve months.
  2. Any person who violates paragraph a of section 20-902 of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than ten thousand dollars for each runner used, solicited, directed, hired or employed, or a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year, or both.
  3. Any person who violates paragraph b of section 20-902 of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than ten thousand dollars for each violation, or a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year, or both.
  4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the imposition of any other penalty that may be imposed pursuant to any other law, rule or regulation.

§ 20-905 Enforcement.

The department shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. A proceeding to recover any civil penalty authorized pursuant to section 20-904 of this chapter shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation returnable to the administrative tribunal of the department. The notice of violation or copy thereof when filled in and served shall constitute notice of the violation charged. The administrative tribunal shall have the power to render decisions and to impose the remedies and penalties provided for in section 20-904 of this chapter, in addition to any other remedies or penalties provided for the enforcement of such provisions under any other law including, but not limited to, civil or criminal actions or proceedings.

Chapter 7: Energy

§ 20-910 Air conditioning prohibitions.

  1. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

   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.

   Commercial building or structure. The term “commercial building or structure” means a building or structure, or a portion thereof, classified in accordance with section BC 302 of the New York city building code in occupancy group B or M.

   Door. The term “door” means any door used to close off any exterior entrance to a commercial building or structure and that when open allows for the co-mingling of indoor and outdoor air, but shall not include doors that (i) adjoin indoor seating areas where food or beverages are served and link such areas to the outside or (ii) allow for direct service of food or beverages to outdoor space during times when servers are actively engaged in serving such space.

   Person. The term “person” means (i) with respect to the portion of a commercial building or structure that is a retail or wholesale establishment that sells goods or provides services to consumers, the owner or lessee of such establishment; and (ii) with respect to any other portion of a commercial building or structure, the record owner or lessee of such building or structure.

   Window. The term “window” means any window used to close off any exterior opening to a commercial building or structure and that when open allows for the co-mingling of indoor and outdoor air, but shall not include windows (i) in restaurants that adjoin indoor seating areas where food or beverages are served and link such areas to the outside or (ii) that allow for direct service of food or beverages to outdoor space during times when servers are actively engaged in serving such space.

  1. Except as provided in subdivision c of this section, it shall be unlawful to keep open any exterior door or window of a commercial building or structure while an air conditioner or central cooling system is operating that cools the area adjacent to such door or window, except as needed to permit the ingress and egress of people and the delivery and shipping of goods.
  2. The provisions of this section shall not apply when an emergency situation exists that requires an exterior door or window to be kept open.
  3. The department shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of subdivision b of this section. A proceeding to recover any civil penalty prescribed by subdivision e of this section shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation, which shall be returnable to the environmental control board or to any tribunal authorized to adjudicate notices of violation issued by the department. The environmental control board or such tribunal shall have the power to impose any civil penalty prescribed by subdivision e of this section.
    1. Prior to July 1, 2016, any person who violates this section shall receive a written warning for the first violation, and shall be liable for a civil penalty in the amount of two hundred fifty dollars for each open door or window for a second violation within an eighteen month period and five hundred dollars for each open door or window for any third and subsequent violation within an eighteen month period, except that such person shall be liable for a civil penalty in the amount of five hundred dollars for each open door or window for a second violation within an eighteen month period and one thousand dollars for each open door or window for any third and subsequent violation within an eighteen month period if the violation occurs at a store that is part of a chain of stores.

   (ii) On and after July 1, 2016, any person who violates this section shall be liable for a civil penalty in the amount of two hundred fifty dollars for each open door or window for the first violation and five hundred dollars for each open door or window for any second and subsequent violation within an eighteen month period, except that such person shall be liable for a civil penalty in the amount of five hundred dollars for each open door or window for the first violation and one thousand dollars for each open door or window for any second and subsequent violation within an eighteen month period if the violation occurs at a store that is part of a chain of stores.

   (iii) All violations issued prior to July 1, 2016, shall continue to count toward the cumulative total of violations issued to a person for the purpose of assessing the amount of a civil penalty under paragraph (i) or (ii) of this subdivision.

  1. Every store that is part of a chain of stores shall conspicuously post on each door a notice that states that violations of this section may be reported to 311. Such notice must be in the form and must contain the content as provided by the commissioner on the department’s website.

Editor’s note: subdivision f of this § 20-910 became effective on 11/6/2015; see L.L. 2015/092 § 2.

Chapter 9: Mass Transit Benefits

§ 20-926 Election of qualified transportation benefits in lieu of taxable dollar compensation for certain non-governmental employees.

  1. Except as provided in subdivision c of this section, every employer with twenty or more full-time employees in the city of New York shall offer full-time employees the opportunity to use pre-tax earnings to purchase qualified transportation fringe benefits, other than qualified parking, in accordance with federal law, provided that in the event that such employer’s number of full-time employees is reduced to less than twenty, any employee eligible to be provided such opportunity prior to the employee reduction shall continue to be provided such opportunity for the duration of such employee’s employment with such employer. For purposes of this section, “full-time employees” shall mean employees who work an average of thirty hours or more per week for such employer for such period of time as the commissioner establishes by rule.
  2. The provisions of this section shall be enforceable by the department. Any notice of violation issued by the department shall be returnable to the administrative tribunal authorized to adjudicate violations of this chapter as set forth in the department’s rules. The department shall prescribe the form and wording of such notices of violation. Any employer found to be in violation of the provisions of this section shall be liable for a civil penalty payable to the city of New York of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for the first violation. Such employer shall have ninety days to cure such first violation before a civil penalty shall be imposed. After the expiration of such cure period, every thirty-day period in which such employer fails to offer such benefit shall constitute a subsequent violation and a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars shall be imposed for each such subsequent violation. A civil penalty shall not be imposed on any individual employer more than once in any thirty-day period.
  3. Subdivision a of this section shall not apply (i) to the United States government, the state of New York, including any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society or other body of the state including the legislature and the judiciary, or the city of New York or any local government, municipality or county or any entity governed by general municipal law section 92 or county law section 207; (ii) where a collective bargaining agreement exists between any group of employees and an employer, except where the number of full-time employees not covered by any such agreement is twenty or more, in which case those full-time employees not covered by any such agreement shall be eligible for such benefit; or (iii) where such employer is not required by law to pay federal, state and city payroll taxes. In addition, the department may waive the requirements of this section for an employer if such employer has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the department that the offering of such benefit would be a financial hardship for such employer.
  4. The commissioner may promulgate such rules as he or she deems necessary to effectuate the provisions of this chapter, including, but not limited to, establishing civil penalties for the violation of such rules in amounts not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars for any such violation.
  5. For the purposes of this chapter, “department” shall mean such office or agency as the mayor shall designate pursuant to section 20-a of the charter and “commissioner” shall mean the head of such office or agency.

Editor’s note: the legislation that enacted this § 20-926 provides, in part, as follows: “This local law shall take effect January 1, 2016, provided that (i) [the] head of such office or agency as the mayor shall designate pursuant to section 20-a of the New York city charter, as added by [L.L. 2015/104], shall, prior to the effective date of this local law, promulgate such rules, and take such other steps, as may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of this local law on its effective date and (ii) in the event qualified transportation benefits are no longer permitted to be excluded from an employee’s gross income for federal income tax purposes and from an employer’s wages for federal payroll tax purposes, this local law shall no longer be effective.” See L.L. 2014/053 § 3, 10/20/2014, as amended by L.L. 2015/104 § 7, 11/30/2015.

Chapter 8: Earned Safe and Sick Time Act.

§ 20-911 Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Earned Safe and Sick Time Act.”

§ 20-912 Definitions.

When used in this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as follows:

“Calendar year” shall mean a regular and consecutive twelve month period, as determined by an employer.

“Chain business” shall mean any employer that is part of a group of establishments that share a common owner or principal who owns at least thirty percent of each establishment where such establishments (i) engage in the same business or (ii) operate pursuant to franchise agreements with the same franchisor as defined in general business law section 681; provided that the total number of employees of all such establishments in such group is at least five.

“Child” shall mean a biological, adopted or foster child, a legal ward, or a child of an employee standing in loco parentis.

“Commissioner” shall mean the head of such office or agency as the mayor shall designate pursuant to section 20-a of the charter.

“Department” shall mean such office or agency as the mayor shall designate pursuant to section 20-a of the charter.

“Domestic partner” shall mean any person who has a registered domestic partnership pursuant to section 3-240 of the code, a domestic partnership registered in accordance with executive order number 123, dated August 7, 1989, or a domestic partnership registered in accordance with executive order number 48, dated January 7, 1993.

“Domestic worker” shall mean any “domestic worker” as defined in section 2(16) of the labor law who is employed for hire within the city of New York for more than eighty hours in a calendar year who performs work on a full-time or part-time basis.

“Employee” shall mean any “employee” as defined in subdivision 2 of section 190 of the labor law who is employed for hire within the city of New York for more than eighty hours in a calendar year who performs work on a full-time or part-time basis, including work performed in a transitional jobs program pursuant to section 336-f of the social services law, but not including work performed as a participant in a work experience program pursuant to section 336-c of the social services law, and not including those who are employed by (i) the United States government; (ii) the state of New York, including any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society or other body of the state including the legislature and the judiciary; or (iii) the city of New York or any local government, municipality or county or any entity governed by section 92 of the general municipal law or section 207 of the county law.

“Employer” shall mean any “employer” as defined in subdivision (3) of section 190 of the labor law, but not including (i) the United States government; (ii) the state of New York, including any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society or other body of the state including the legislature and the judiciary; or (iii) the city of New York or any local government, municipality or county or any entity governed by general municipal law section 92 or county law section 207. In determining the number of employees performing work for an employer for compensation during a given week, all employees performing work for compensation on a full-time, part-time or temporary basis shall be counted, provided that where the number of employees who work for an employer for compensation per week fluctuates, business size may be determined for the current calendar year based upon the average number of employees who worked for compensation per week during the preceding calendar year, and provided further that in determining the number of employees performing work for an employer that is a chain business, the total number of employees in that group of establishments shall be counted.

“Family member” shall mean an employee’s child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, grandchild or grandparent; the child or parent of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner; any other individual related by blood to the employee; and any other individual whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

“Family offense matter” shall mean an act or threat of an act that may constitute disorderly conduct, harassment in the first degree, harassment in the second degree, aggravated harassment in the second degree, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse in the third degree, sexual abuse in the second degree as set forth in subdivision 1 of section 130.60 of the penal law, stalking in the first degree, stalking in the second degree, stalking in the third degree, stalking in the fourth degree, criminal mischief, menacing in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, reckless endangerment, strangulation in the first degree, strangulation in the second degree, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, an attempted assault, identity theft in the first degree, identity theft in the second degree, identity theft in the third degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the third degree or coercion in the second degree as set forth in subdivisions 1, 2 and 3 of section 135.60 of the penal law between spouses or former spouses, or between parent and child or between members of the same family or household.

“Grandchild” shall mean a child of an employee’s child.

“Grandparent” shall mean a parent of an employee’s parent.

“Health care provider” shall mean any person licensed under federal or New York state law to provide medical or emergency services, including, but not limited to, doctors, nurses and emergency room personnel.

“Hourly professional employee” shall mean any individual (i) who is professionally licensed by the New York state education department, office of professions, under the direction of the New York state board of regents under education law sections 6732, 7902 or 8202, (ii) who calls in for work assignments at will determining his or her own work schedule with the ability to reject or accept any assignment referred to them and (iii) who is paid an average hourly wage which is at least four times the federal minimum wage for hours worked during the calendar year.

“Human trafficking” shall mean an act or threat of an act that may constitute sex trafficking, as defined in section 230.34 of the penal law, or labor trafficking, as defined in section 135.35 and 135.36 of the penal law.

“Member of the same family or household” shall mean (i) persons related by consanguinity or affinity; (ii) persons legally married to or in a domestic partnership with one another; (iii) persons formerly married to or in a domestic partnership with one another regardless of whether they still reside in the same household; (iv) persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether such persons have been married or domestic partners or have lived together at any time; and (v) persons who are not related by consanguinity or affinity and who are or have been in an intimate relationship regardless of whether such persons have lived together at any time.

“Paid safe/sick time” shall mean time that is provided by an employer to an employee that can be used for the purposes described in section 20-914 of this chapter and is compensated at the same rate as the employee earns from his or her employment at the time the employee uses such time, except that an employee who volunteers or agrees to work hours in addition to his or her normal schedule will not receive more in paid safe/sick time compensation than his or her regular hourly wage if such employee is not able to work the hours for which he or she has volunteered or agreed even if the reason for such inability to work is one of the reasons in section 20-914 of this chapter. In no case shall an employer be required to pay more to an employee for paid safe/sick time than the employee’s regular rate of pay at the time the employee uses such paid safe/sick time, except that in no case shall the paid safe/sick time hourly rate be less than the hourly rate provided in subdivision 1 of section 652 of the labor law.

“Parent” shall mean a biological, foster, step- or adoptive parent, or a legal guardian of an employee, or a person who stood in loco parentis when the employee was a minor child.

“Public disaster” shall mean an event such as fire, explosion, terrorist attack, severe weather conditions or other catastrophe that is declared a public emergency or disaster by the president of the United States, the governor of the state of New York or the mayor of the city of New York.

“Public health emergency” shall mean a declaration made by the commissioner of health and mental hygiene pursuant to subdivision d of section 3.01 of the New York city health code or by the mayor pursuant to section 24 of the executive law.

“Public service commission” shall mean the public service commission established by section 4 of the public service law.

“Retaliation” shall mean any threat, discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension, reduction in employee hours, or any other adverse employment action against any employee for exercising or attempting to exercise any right guaranteed under this chapter.

“Safe time” shall mean time that is provided by an employer to an employee that can be used for the purposes described in subdivision b of section 20-914 of this chapter, whether or not compensation for that time is required pursuant to this chapter.

“Sexual offense” shall mean an act or threat of an act that may constitute a violation of article 130 of the penal law.

“Sibling” shall mean an employee’s brother or sister, including half-siblings, step-siblings and siblings related through adoption.

“Sick time” shall mean time that is provided by an employer to an employee that can be used for the purposes described in subdivision a of section 20-914 of this chapter, whether or not compensation for that time is required pursuant to this chapter.

“Spouse” shall mean a person to whom an employee is legally married under the laws of the state of New York.

“Stalking” shall mean an act or threat of an act that may constitute a violation of section 120.45, 120.50, 120.55, or 120.60 of the penal law.

§ 20-913 Right to safe/sick time; accrual.

  1. All employees have the right to safe/sick time pursuant to this chapter.

   1. All employers that employ five or more employees and all employers of one or more domestic workers shall provide paid safe/sick to their employees in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

   2. All employees not entitled to paid safe/sick pursuant to this chapter shall be entitled to unpaid safe/sick time in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

  1. All employers shall provide a minimum of one hour of safe/sick time for every thirty hours worked by an employee, other than a domestic worker who shall accrue safe/sick time pursuant to paragraph 2 of subdivision d of this section. Employers shall not be required under this chapter to provide more than forty hours of safe/sick time for an employee in a calendar year. For purposes of this subdivision, any paid days of rest to which a domestic worker is entitled pursuant to subdivision 1 of section 161 of the labor law shall count toward such forty hours. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to discourage or prohibit an employer from allowing the accrual of safe/sick time at a faster rate or use of sick time at an earlier date than this chapter requires.
  2. An employer required to provide paid safe/sick time pursuant to this chapter who provides an employee with an amount of paid leave, including paid time off, paid vacation, paid personal days or paid days of rest required to be compensated pursuant to subdivision 1 of section 161 of the labor law, sufficient to meet the requirements of this section and who allows such paid leave to be used for the same purposes and under the same conditions as safe/sick time required pursuant to this chapter, is not required to provide additional paid safe/sick time for such employee whether or not such employee chooses to use such leave for the purposes included in subdivision a of section 20-914 of this chapter. An employer required to provide unpaid safe/sick time pursuant to this chapter who provides an employee with an amount of unpaid or paid leave, including unpaid or paid time off, unpaid or paid vacation, or unpaid or paid personal days, sufficient to meet the requirements of this section and who allows such leave to be used for the same purposes and under the same conditions as safe/sick time required pursuant to this chapter, is not required to provide additional unpaid safe/sick time for such employee whether or not such employee chooses to use such leave for the purposes set forth in subdivision a of section 20-914 of this chapter.
    1. For an employee other than a domestic worker, safe/sick time as provided pursuant to this chapter shall begin to accrue at the commencement of employment or on the effective date of this local law, whichever is later, and an employee shall be entitled to begin using safe/sick time on the one hundred twentieth calendar day following commencement of his or her employment or on the one hundred twentieth calendar day following the effective date of this local law, whichever is later. After the one hundred twentieth calendar day of employment or after the one hundred twentieth calendar day following the effective date of this local law, whichever is later, such employee may use safe/sick time as it is accrued.

   2. In addition to the paid day or days of rest to which a domestic worker is entitled pursuant to subdivision 1 of section 161 of the labor law, such domestic worker shall also be entitled to two days of paid safe/sick time as of the date that such domestic worker is entitled to such paid day or days of rest and annually thereafter, provided that notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, such two days of paid safe/sick time shall be calculated in the same manner as the paid day or days of rest are calculated pursuant to the provisions of subdivision 1 of section 161 of the labor law.

  1. Employees who are not covered by the overtime requirements of New York state law or regulations, including the wage orders promulgated by the New York commissioner of labor pursuant to article 19 or 19-A of the labor law, shall be assumed to work forty hours in each work week for purposes of safe/sick time accrual unless their regular work week is less than forty hours, in which case sick time accrues based upon that regular work week.
  2. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to (i) work study programs under 42 U.S.C. section 2753, (ii) employees for the hours worked and compensated by or through qualified scholarships as defined in 26 U.S.C. section 117, (iii) independent contractors who do not meet the definition of employee under subdivision 2 of section 190 of the labor law, and (iv) hourly professional employees.
  3. Employees shall determine how much earned safe/sick time they need to use, provided that employers may set a reasonable minimum increment for the use of safe/sick time not to exceed four hours per day.
  4. Except for domestic workers, up to forty hours of unused safe/sick time as provided pursuant to this chapter shall be carried over to the following calendar year; provided that no employer shall be required to (i) allow the use of more than forty hours of safe/sick time in a calendar year or (ii) carry over unused paid safe/sick time if the employee is paid for any unused safe/sick time at the end of the calendar year in which such time is accrued and the employer provides the employee with an amount of paid safe/sick time that meets or exceeds the requirements of this chapter for such employee for the immediately subsequent calendar year on the first day of such year.
  5. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as requiring financial or other reimbursement to an employee from an employer upon the employee’s termination, resignation, retirement, or other separation from employment for accrued sick time that has not been used.
  6. If an employee is transferred to a separate division, entity or location in the city of New York, but remains employed by the same employer, such employee is entitled to all safe/sick time accrued at the prior division, entity or location and is entitled to retain or use all safe/sick time as provided pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. When there is a separation from employment and the employee is rehired within six months of separation by the same employer, previously accrued safe/sick time that was not used shall be reinstated and such employee shall be entitled to use such accrued safe/sick time at any time after such employee is rehired, provided that no employer shall be required to reinstate such safe/sick time to the extent the employee was paid for unused accrued safe/sick time prior to separation and the employee agreed to accept such pay for such unused safe/sick time.

§ 20-914 Use of safe/sick time.

  1. Sick time.

   1. An employee shall be entitled to use sick time for absence from work due to:

      (a) such employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or need for medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or need for preventive medical care; or

      (b) care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition or who needs preventive medical care; or

      (c) closure of such employee’s place of business by order of a public official due to a public health emergency or such employee’s need to care for a child whose school or childcare provider has been closed by order of a public official due to a public health emergency.

   2. For an absence of more than three consecutive work days for sick time, an employer may require reasonable documentation that the use of sick time was authorized by this subdivision. For sick time used pursuant to this subdivision, documentation signed by a licensed health care provider indicating the need for the amount of sick time taken shall be considered reasonable documentation and an employer shall not require that such documentation specify the nature of the employee’s or the employee’s family member’s injury, illness or condition, except as required by law.

  1. Safe time.

   1. An employee shall be entitled to use safe time for absence from work due to any of the following reasons when the employee or a family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking:

      (a) to obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other shelter or services program for relief from a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking;

      (b) to participate in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee’s family members from future family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking;

      (c) to meet with a civil attorney or other social service provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in any criminal or civil proceeding, including but not limited to, matters related to a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, human trafficking, custody, visitation, matrimonial issues, orders of protection, immigration, housing, discrimination in employment, housing or consumer credit;

      (d) to file a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement;

      (e) to meet with a district attorney’s office;

      (f) to enroll children in a new school; or

      (g) to take other actions necessary to maintain, improve, or restore the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or the employee’s family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.

   2. For an absence of more than three consecutive work days for safe time, an employer may require reasonable documentation that the use of safe time was authorized by this subdivision. For safe time used pursuant to this subdivision, documentation signed by an employee, agent, or volunteer of a victim services organization, an attorney, a member of the clergy, or a medical or other professional service provider from whom the employee or that employee’s family member has sought assistance in addressing family offense matters, sex offenses, stalking, or human trafficking and their effects; a police or court record; or a notarized letter from the employee explaining the need for such time shall be considered reasonable documentation and an employer shall not require that such documentation specify the details of the family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.

  1. An employer may require reasonable notice of the need to use safe/sick time. Where such need is foreseeable, an employer may require reasonable advance notice of the intention to use such safe/sick time, not to exceed seven days prior to the date such safe/sick time is to begin. Where such need is not foreseeable, an employer may require an employee to provide notice of the need for the use of safe/sick time as soon as practicable.
  2. Nothing herein shall prevent an employer from requiring an employee to provide written confirmation that an employee used safe/sick time pursuant to this section.
  3. An employer shall not require an employee, as a condition of taking safe/sick time, to search for or find a replacement worker to cover the hours during which such employee is utilizing time.
  4. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit an employer from taking disciplinary action, up to and including termination, against a worker who uses safe/sick time provided pursuant to this chapter for purposes other than those described in this section.

§ 20-915 Changing schedule.

Upon mutual consent of the employee and the employer, an employee who is absent for a reason listed in subdivision a of section 20-914 of this chapter may work additional hours during the immediately preceding seven days if the absence was foreseeable or within the immediately subsequent seven days from that absence without using safe/sick time to make up for the original hours for which such employee was absent, provided that an adjunct professor who is an employee at an institute of higher education may work such additional hours at any time during the academic term. An employer shall not require such employee to work additional hours to make up for the original hours for which such employee was absent or to search for or find a replacement employee to cover the hours during which the employee is absent pursuant to this section. If such employee works additional hours, and such hours are fewer than the number of hours such employee was originally scheduled to work, then such employee shall be able to use safe/sick time provided pursuant to this chapter for the difference. Should the employee work additional hours, the employer shall comply with any applicable federal, state or local labor laws.

§ 20-916 Collective bargaining agreements.

  1. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any employee covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement if (i) such provisions are expressly waived in such collective bargaining agreement and (ii) such agreement provides for a comparable benefit for the employees covered by such agreement in the form of paid days off; such paid days off shall be in the form of leave, compensation, other employee benefits, or some combination thereof. Comparable benefits shall include, but are not limited to, vacation time, personal time, safe/sick time, and holiday and Sunday time pay at premium rates.
  2. Notwithstanding subdivision a of this section, the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any employee in the construction or grocery industry covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement if such provisions are expressly waived in such collective bargaining agreement.

§ 20-917 Public disasters.

In the event of a public disaster, the mayor may, for the length of such disaster, suspend the provisions of this chapter for businesses, corporations or other entities regulated by the public service commission.

§ 20-918 Retaliation and interference prohibited.

No employer shall engage in retaliation or threaten retaliation against an employee for exercising or attempting to exercise any right provided pursuant to this chapter, or interfere with any investigation, proceeding or hearing pursuant to this chapter. The protections of this chapter shall apply to any person who mistakenly but in good faith alleges a violation of this chapter. Rights under this chapter shall include, but not be limited to, the right to request and use sick time, file a complaint for alleged violations of this chapter with the department, communicate with any person about any violation of this chapter, participate in any administrative or judicial action regarding an alleged violation of this chapter, or inform any person of his or her potential rights under this chapter.

§ 20-919 Notice of rights.

    1. An employer shall provide an employee either at the commencement of employment or within thirty days of the effective date of this section, whichever is later, with written notice of such employee’s right to safe/sick pursuant to this chapter, including the accrual and use of safe/sick time, the calendar year of the employer, and the right to be free from retaliation and to bring a complaint to the department. Such notice shall be in English and the primary language spoken by that employee, provided that the department has made available a translation of such notice in such language pursuant to subdivision b of this section. Such notice may also be conspicuously posted at an employer’s place of business in an area accessible to employees.

   2. Notices provided to employees pursuant to this section on and after the effective date of this paragraph shall in addition inform employees of their right to safe time under this chapter. Employers shall give employees who have already received notice of their right to sick time pursuant to this section notice of their right to safe time within thirty days of the effective date of this paragraph.

  1. The department shall create and make available notices that contain the information required pursuant to subdivision a of this section concerning sick time and safe time and such notices shall allow for the employer to fill in applicable dates for such employer’s calendar year. Such notices shall be posted in a downloadable format on the department’s website in Chinese, English, French-Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian, Spanish and any other language deemed appropriate by the department.
  2. Any person or entity that willfully violates the notice requirements of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed fifty dollars for each employee who was not given appropriate notice pursuant to this section.

§ 20-920 Employer records.

Employers shall retain records documenting such employer’s compliance with the requirements of this chapter for a period of three years unless otherwise required pursuant to any other law, rule or regulation, and shall allow the department to access such records, with appropriate notice and at a mutually agreeable time of day, in furtherance of an investigation conducted pursuant to this chapter.

§ 20-921 Confidentiality and nondisclosure.

  1. An employer may not require the disclosure of details relating to an employee’s or his or her family member’s medical condition or require the disclosure of details relating to an employee’s or his or her family member’s status as a victim of family offenses, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking as a condition of providing safe/sick time under this chapter. Health information about an employee or an employee’s family member, and information concerning an employee’s or his or her family member’s status or perceived status as a victim of family offenses, sexual offenses, stalking or human trafficking obtained solely for the purposes of utilizing safe/sick time pursuant to this chapter, shall be treated as confidential and shall not be disclosed except by the affected employee, with the written permission of the affected employee or as required by law. Provided, however, that nothing in this section shall preclude an employer from considering information provided in connection with a request for safe time in connection with a request for reasonable accommodation pursuant to subdivision 27 of section 8-107.

§ 20-922 Encouragement of more generous policies; no effect on more generous policies.

  1. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to discourage or prohibit the adoption or retention of a safe time or sick time policy more generous than that which is required herein.
  2. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as diminishing the obligation of an employer to comply with any contract, collective bargaining agreement, employment benefit plan or other agreement providing more generous safe time or sick time to an employee than required herein.
  3. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as diminishing the rights of public employees regarding safe time or sick time as provided pursuant to federal, state or city law.

§ 20-923 Other legal requirements.

  1. This chapter provides minimum requirements pertaining to safe time and sick time and shall not be construed to preempt, limit or otherwise affect the applicability of any other law, regulation, rule, requirement, policy or standard that provides for greater accrual or use by employees of safe leave or time or sick leave or time, whether paid or unpaid, or that extends other protections to employees.
  2. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as creating or imposing any requirement in conflict with any federal or state law, rule or regulation, nor shall anything in this chapter be construed to diminish or impair the rights of an employee or employer under any valid collective bargaining agreement.

§ 20-924 Enforcement and penalties.

  1. The department shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. In effectuating such enforcement, the department shall establish a system utilizing multiple means of communication to receive complaints regarding non-compliance with this chapter and investigate complaints received by the department in a timely manner.
  2. Any person alleging a violation of this chapter shall have the right to file a complaint with the department within two years of the date the person knew or should have known of the alleged violation. The department shall maintain confidential the identity of any complainant unless disclosure of such complainant’s identity is necessary for resolution of the investigation or otherwise required by law. The department shall, to the extent practicable, notify such complainant that the department will be disclosing his or her identity prior to such disclosure.
  3. Upon receiving a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter, the department shall investigate such complaint and attempt to resolve it through mediation. Within thirty days of written notification of a complaint by the department, the person or entity identified in the complaint shall provide the department with a written response and such other information as the department may request. The department shall keep complainants reasonably notified regarding the status of their complaint and any resultant investigation. If, as a result of an investigation of a complaint or an investigation conducted upon its own initiative, the department believes that a violation has occurred, it shall issue to the offending person or entity a notice of violation. The commissioner shall prescribe the form and wording of such notices of violation. The notice of violation shall be returnable to the administrative tribunal authorized to adjudicate violations of this chapter.
  4. The department shall have the power to impose penalties provided for in this chapter and to grant an employee or former employee all appropriate relief. Such relief shall include: (i) for each instance of sick time taken by an employee but unlawfully not compensated by the employer: three times the wages that should have been paid under this chapter or two hundred fifty dollars, whichever is greater; (ii) for each instance of sick time requested by an employee but unlawfully denied by the employer and not taken by the employee or unlawfully conditioned upon searching for or finding a replacement worker, or for each instance an employer requires an employee to work additional hours without the mutual consent of such employer and employee in violation of section 20-915 of this chapter to make up for the original hours during which such employee is absent pursuant to this chapter: five hundred dollars; (iii) for each instance of unlawful retaliation not including discharge from employment: full compensation including wages and benefits lost, five hundred dollars and equitable relief as appropriate; and (iv) for each instance of unlawful discharge from employment: full compensation including wages and benefits lost, two thousand five hundred dollars and equitable relief, including reinstatement, as appropriate.
  5. Any entity or person found to be in violation of the provisions of sections 20-913, 20-914, 20-915 or 20-918 of this chapter shall be liable for a civil penalty payable to the city not to exceed five hundred dollars for the first violation and, for subsequent violations that occur within two years of any previous violation, not to exceed seven hundred and fifty dollars for the second violation and not to exceed one thousand dollars for each succeeding violation.
  6. The department shall annually report on its website the number and nature of the complaints received pursuant to this chapter, the results of investigations undertaken pursuant to this chapter, including the number of complaints not substantiated and the number of notices of violations issued, the number and nature of adjudications pursuant to this chapter, and the average time for a complaint to be resolved pursuant to this chapter.

§ 20-925 Designation of agency. [Repealed.]

Chapter 10: Freelance Workers

§ 20-927 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

Director. The term “director” means the director of the office of labor standards established pursuant to section 20-a of the charter.

Freelance worker. The term “freelance worker” means any natural person or any organization composed of no more than one natural person, whether or not incorporated or employing a trade name, that is hired or retained as an independent contractor by a hiring party to provide services in exchange for compensation. This term does not include:

   1. Any person who, pursuant to the contract at issue, is a sales representative as defined in section 191-a of the labor law;

   2. Any person engaged in the practice of law pursuant to the contract at issue and who is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state, possession, territory, commonwealth or the District of Columbia and who is not under any order of any court suspending, enjoining, restraining, disbarring or otherwise restricting such person in the practice of law; and

   3. Any person who is a licensed medical professional.

Hiring party. The term “hiring party” means any person who retains a freelance worker to provide any service, other than (i) the United States government, (ii) the state of New York, including any office, department, agency, authority or other body of the state including the legislature and the judiciary, (iii) the city, including any office, department, agency or other body of the city, (iv) any other local government, municipality or county or (v) any foreign government.

Office. The term “office” means the office of labor standards established pursuant to section 20-a of the charter.

§ 20-928 Written contract required.

  1. Whenever a hiring party retains the services of a freelance worker and the contract between them has a value of $800 or more, either by itself or when aggregated with all contracts for services between the same hiring party and freelance worker during the immediately preceding 120 days, the contract shall be reduced to writing. Each party to the written contract shall retain a copy thereof.
  2. The written contract shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

   1. The name and mailing address of both the hiring party and the freelance worker;

   2. An itemization of all services to be provided by the freelance worker, the value of the services to be provided pursuant to the contract and the rate and method of compensation; and

   3. The date on which the hiring party must pay the contracted compensation or the mechanism by which such date will be determined.

  1. The director may by rule require additional terms to ensure that the freelance worker and the hiring party understand their obligations under the contract.

§ 20-929 Unlawful payment practices.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, the contracted compensation shall be paid to the freelance worker either:

   1. On or before the date such compensation is due under the terms of the contract; or

   2. If the contract does not specify when the hiring party must pay the contracted compensation or the mechanism by which such date will be determined, no later than 30 days after the completion of the freelance worker’s services under the contract.

  1. Once a freelance worker has commenced performance of the services under the contract, the hiring party shall not require as a condition of timely payment that the freelance worker accept less compensation than the amount of the contracted compensation.

§ 20-930 Retaliation.

No hiring party shall threaten, intimidate, discipline, harass, deny a work opportunity to or discriminate against a freelance worker, or take any other action that penalizes a freelance worker for, or is reasonably likely to deter a freelancer worker from, exercising or attempting to exercise any right guaranteed under this chapter, or from obtaining future work opportunity because the freelance worker has done so.

§ 20-931 Complaint procedure; jurisdiction of director.

  1. Complaint. A freelance worker who is aggrieved by a violation of this chapter may file a complaint with the director within two years after the acts alleged to have violated this chapter occurred. The director shall prescribe the form of the complaint, which shall include, at a minimum:

   1. The name and mailing address of the freelance worker and of the hiring party alleged to have violated this chapter;

   2. A statement detailing the terms of the freelance contract, including a copy of such contract if available;

   3. The freelance worker’s occupation;

   4. A statement detailing the alleged violations of this chapter; and

   5. A signed affirmation that all facts alleged in the complaint are true.

  1. Referral to navigation program. At the time the director receives a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter, the director shall refer the freelance worker to the navigation program identified in section 20-932.
  2. Jurisdiction.

   1. The director does not have jurisdiction over a complaint if:

      (a) Either party to the contract has initiated a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction alleging a violation of this chapter or a breach of contract arising out of the contract that is the subject of the complaint filed under subdivision a of this section, unless such civil action has been dismissed without prejudice to future claims; or

      (b) Either party to the contract has filed a claim or complaint before any administrative agency under any local, state or federal law alleging a breach of contract that is the subject of the complaint filed under subdivision a of this section, unless the administrative claim or complaint has been withdrawn or dismissed without prejudice to future claims.

   2. Where the director lacks jurisdiction over a complaint, the director shall notify the following, in writing, within 10 days of discovering the lack of jurisdiction:

      (a) The freelance worker; and

      (b) The hiring party, if the director discovered the lack of jurisdiction after sending a notice to the hiring party pursuant to subdivision d of this section.

  1. Notice to hiring party. Within 20 days of receiving a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter, the director shall send the hiring party named in the complaint a written notice of complaint. Such notice shall inform the hiring party that a complaint has been filed alleging violations of this chapter, detail the remedies available to a freelance worker for violations of this chapter by a hiring party and include a copy of the complaint and notice that failure to respond to the complaint creates a rebuttable presumption in any civil action commenced pursuant to this chapter that the hiring party committed the violations alleged in the complaint. The director shall send such notice by certified mail and shall bear the cost of sending such notice.
  2. Response.

   1. Within 20 days of receiving the notice of complaint, the hiring party identified in the complaint shall send the director one of the following:

      (a) A written statement that the freelance worker has been paid in full and proof of such payment; or

      (b) A written statement that the freelance worker has not been paid in full and the reasons for the failure to provide such payment.

   2. Within 20 days of receiving the written response, the director shall send the freelance worker a copy of:

      (a) The response;

      (b) Any enclosures submitted to the director with the response;

      (c) Materials informing the freelance worker that he or she may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction;

      (d) Any other information about the status of the complaint; and

      (e) Information about the navigation program described in section 20-932.

   3. If the director receives no response to the notice of complaint within the time provided by paragraph 1 of this subdivision, the director shall mail a notice of non-response to both the freelance worker and the hiring party by regular mail and shall include with such notice proof that the director previously mailed the notice of complaint to the hiring party by certified mail. Upon satisfying the requirements of this paragraph, the director may close the case.

§ 20-932 Navigation program.

  1. The director shall establish a navigation program that provides information and assistance, as set forth in subdivision c of this section, relating to the provisions of this chapter. Such program shall include assistance by a natural person by phone and e-mail and shall also include online information.
  2. The director shall make available model contracts on the website of the office for use by the general public at no cost. Such model contracts shall be made available in English and in the six languages most commonly spoken by limited English proficient individuals in the city as determined by the department of city planning.
  3. The navigation program shall provide the following:

   1. General court information and information about procedures under this chapter;

   2. Information about available templates and relevant court forms;

   3. General information about classifying persons as employees or independent contractors;

   4. Information about obtaining translation and interpretation services and other courtroom services;

   5. A list of organizations that can be used for the identification of attorneys; and

   6. Other information, as determined by the director, related to the submission of a complaint by a freelance worker or the commencement of a civil action pursuant to this chapter by a freelance worker.

  1. The navigation program shall include outreach and education to the public on the provisions of this chapter.
  2. The navigation program shall not provide legal advice.

§ 20-933 Civil action.

  1. Cause of action.

   1. Except as otherwise provided by law, a freelance worker alleging a violation of this chapter may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction for damages as described in subdivision b of this section.

   2. Any action alleging a violation of section 20-928 shall be brought within two years after the acts alleged to have violated this chapter occurred.

   3. Any action alleging a violation of sections 20-929 or 20-930 shall be brought within six years after the acts alleged to have violated this chapter occurred.

   4. Within 10 days after having commenced a civil action pursuant to subdivision a of this section, a plaintiff shall serve a copy of the complaint upon an authorized representative of the director. Failure to so serve a complaint does not adversely affect any plaintiff’s cause of action.

   5. A plaintiff who solely alleges a violation of section 20-928 must prove that such plaintiff requested a written contract before the contracted work began.

  1. Damages.

   1. A plaintiff who prevails on a claim alleging a violation of this chapter shall be awarded damages as described in this subdivision and an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

   2. Violation of section 20-928.

      (a) A plaintiff who prevails on a claim alleging a violation of section 20-928 shall be awarded statutory damages of $250.

      (b) A plaintiff who prevails on a claim alleging a violation of section 20-928 and on one or more claims under other provisions of this chapter shall be awarded statutory damages equal to the value of the underlying contract for the violation of section 20-928 in addition to the remedies specified in this chapter for the other violations.

   3. Violation of section 20-929. In addition to any other damages awarded pursuant to this chapter, a plaintiff who prevails on a claim alleging a violation of section 20-929 is entitled to an award for double damages, injunctive relief and other such remedies as may be appropriate.

   4. Violation of section 20-930. In addition to any other damages awarded pursuant to this chapter, a plaintiff who prevails on a claim alleging a violation of section 20-930 is entitled to statutory damages equal to the value of the underlying contract for each violation arising under such section.

§ 20-934 Civil action for pattern or practice of violations.

  1. Cause of action.

   1. Where reasonable cause exists to believe that a hiring party is engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of this chapter, the corporation counsel may commence a civil action on behalf of the city in a court of competent jurisdiction.

   2. An action pursuant to paragraph 1 of this subdivision shall be commenced by filing a complaint setting forth facts relating to such pattern or practice and requesting relief, which may include injunctive relief, civil penalties and any other appropriate relief.

   3. Nothing in this section prohibits:

      (a) A person alleging a violation of this chapter from filing a civil action pursuant to section 20-933 based on the same facts as a civil action commenced by the corporation counsel pursuant to this section.

      (b) The director from sending a notice of complaint pursuant to section 20-931, unless otherwise barred from doing so.

  1. Civil penalty. In any civil action commenced pursuant to subdivision a of this section, the trier of fact may impose a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for a finding that a hiring party has engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of this chapter. Any civil penalty so recovered shall be paid into the general fund of the city.

§ 20-935 Application; waiver; effect on other laws.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, any provision of a contract purporting to waive rights under this chapter is void as against public policy.
  2. The provisions of this chapter supplement, and do not diminish or replace, any other basis of liability or requirement established by statute or common law.
  3. Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter does not render any contract between a hiring party and a freelance worker void or voidable or otherwise impair any obligation, claim or right related to such contract or constitute a defense to any action or proceeding to enforce, or for breach of, such contract.
  4. No provision of this chapter shall be construed as providing a determination about the legal classification of any individual as an employee or independent contractor.

§ 20-936 Follow-up; data collection; reporting.

  1. No later than six months after the director sends to a freelance worker either a hiring party’s response and accompanying materials or a notice of non-response pursuant to paragraph 2 or 3 of subdivision e of section 20-931, the director shall send the freelance worker a survey requesting additional information about the resolution of the freelance worker’s claims. Such survey shall ask whether or not the freelance worker pursued any such claims in court or through an alternative dispute resolution process and whether or not the hiring party ultimately paid any or all of the compensation the freelance worker alleged was due or if the matter was resolved in a different manner. Such survey shall state clearly that response to the survey is voluntary.
  2. The director shall collect and track information about complaints alleging violations of this chapter. The information collected shall include, at minimum:

   1. The identity of the hiring party alleged to have violated this chapter;

   2. The freelance worker’s occupation;

   3. The section of this chapter that was alleged to have been violated;

   4. The value of the contract;

   5. The response or non-response from the hiring party; and

   6. Information from a completed survey identified in subdivision a of this section.

  1. One year after the effective date of the local law that added this chapter, and every fifth year thereafter on November 1, the director shall submit to the council and publish on its website a report regarding the effectiveness of this chapter at improving freelance contracting and payment practices. That report shall include, at a minimum:

   1. The number of complaints the director has received pursuant to this chapter;

   2. The value of the contracts disaggregated into ranges of $500 and by section of this chapter alleged to have been violated;

   3. The numbers of responses and non-responses received by the director disaggregated by contract value into ranges of $500 and by section of this chapter alleged to have been violated;

   4. The proportion of surveys received from freelance workers that indicate that they pursued their claims in court and the proportion of surveys received from freelance workers that indicate that they pursued their claims through an alternative dispute resolution process and a summary of the outcomes of such cases; and

   5. Legislative recommendations for this chapter, including consideration of whether certain occupations should be exempted from the scope of the definition of freelance worker in section 20-927.

Chapter 13: Pay Deductions for Contributions to Not-for-profit Organizations

§ 20-1301 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

Chain. The term “chain” means a set of establishments that share a common brand or that are characterized by standardized options for decor, marketing, packaging, products and services.

Director. The term “director” means the director of the office of labor standards established pursuant to section 20-a of the charter.

Employee. The term “employee” means any person covered by the definition of “employee” set forth in subdivision 5 of section 651 of the labor law or any person covered by the definition of “employee” set forth in 29 U.S.C. § 203(e), any person covered by the definition of an “employee” set forth in subsection (3) of 29 U.S.C. § 152, any person covered by the definition of “public employee” in subdivision 7 of section 201 of the civil service law, or any person covered by the definition of “employees” in subdivision 3 of section 701 of the labor law and who is employed within the city and who performs work on a full-time or part-time basis, including work performed in a transitional jobs program pursuant to section 336-f of the social services law, but not including work performed as a participant in a work experience program pursuant to section 336-c of the social services law. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the term “employee” does not include any person who is employed by (i) the United States government; (ii) the state of New York, including any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society or other body of the state including the legislature and the judiciary; or (iii) the city or any local government, municipality or county or any entity governed by section 92 of the general municipal law or section 207 of the county law.

Employer. The term “employer” means any person or entity covered by the definition of “employer” set forth in subdivision 6 of section 651 of the labor law or any person or entity covered by the definition of “employer” set forth in in 29 U.S.C. § 203(d), any person or entity covered by the definition of “employer” set forth in subsection (2) of 29 U.S.C. § 152, any person or entity covered by the definition of a “public employer” in subdivision 6 of section 201 of the civil service law, or any person or entity covered by the definition of “employer” in subdivision 2 of section 701 of the labor law. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the term does not include (i) the United States government; (ii) the state of New York, including any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society or other body of the state including the legislature and the judiciary; or (iii) the city or any local government, municipality or county or agency or other body thereof.

Fast food employee. The term “fast food employee” means any employee employed or permitted to work at or for a fast food establishment that is located within the city, by any employer, where such job duties include at least one of the following: customer service, cooking, food or drink preparation, delivery, security, stocking supplies or equipment, cleaning or routine maintenance.

Fast food employer. The term “fast food employer” means any employer that employs a fast food employee at a fast food establishment.

Fast food establishment. The term “fast food establishment” means any establishment (i) that has as its primary purpose serving food or drink items; (ii) where patrons order or select items and pay before eating and such items may be consumed on the premises, taken out or delivered to the customer’s location; (iii) that offers limited service; (iv) that is part of a chain; and (v) that is one of 30 or more establishments nationally, including (A) an integrated enterprise that owns or operates 30 or more such establishments in the aggregate nationally or (B) an establishment operated pursuant to a franchise where the franchisor and the franchisees of such franchisor own or operate 30 or more such establishments in the aggregate nationally. The term “fast food establishment” includes such establishments located within non-fast food establishments.

Franchise. The term “franchise” has the same definition as set forth in section 681 of the general business law.

Franchisee. The term “franchisee” means a person or entity to whom a franchise is granted.

Franchisor. The term “franchisor” means a person or entity who grants a franchise to another person or entity.

Integrated enterprise. The term “integrated enterprise” means two or more entities sufficiently integrated so as to be considered a single employer as determined by application of the following factors: (i) degree of interrelation between the operations of multiple entities; (ii) degree to which the entities share common management; (iii) centralized control of labor relations; and (iv) degree of common ownership or financial control.

Not-for-profit. The term “not-for-profit” means an entity that is organized under the not-for-profit corporation law or the law governing incorporation of not-for-profit organizations in the jurisdiction of its incorporation.

Office. The term “office” means the office of labor standards established pursuant to section 20-a of the charter.

§ 20-1302 Requirement to deduct and remit voluntary contributions to not-for-profits.

  1. A fast food employer shall, upon authorization from a fast food employee and upon receipt of a registration letter as provided in subdivision b of section 20-1303 pertaining to the relevant not-for-profit, deduct voluntary contributions from such fast food employee’s paycheck and remit them to the not-for-profit designated by such fast food employee. An authorization shall be written, whether on paper or by an electronic or other method prescribed by the director, and shall include:

   1. The fast food employee’s signature;

   2. The fast food employee’s name and physical address;

   3. The amount, frequency and start date of the contribution;

   4. The name, physical address, email address, web address, if any, and phone number of the not-for-profit and a contact for an employee who seeks to revoke authorization and

   5. A statement notifying the fast food employee that contributions are voluntary and that the authorization to deduct is revocable at any time by submitting a written revocation to the not-for-profit.

  1. An authorization may be submitted to a fast food employer by either a not-for-profit or a fast food employee.
  2. An authorization is in effect until the fast food employee revokes the authorization in writing, whether on paper or by an electronic or other method prescribed by the director, to the not-for-profit. The not-for-profit shall transmit the revocation to the fast food employer.
  3. The fast food employer shall provide a copy of any authorization and any revocation to the not-for-profit to which it pertains and to the fast food employee who submitted it within five business days of receipt.
  4. The fast food employer shall begin or end deductions no later than the first pay period after 15 days of receipt of the authorization or of receipt of the revocation. In the case of authorization, the fast food employer shall remit the deductions to the not-for-profit, by the method of transmission that such organization requests, no later than 15 days after deduction. Deductions may only be taken from paychecks issued after the date the fast food employer receives the authorization, and the deduction amount from any one paycheck shall not exceed the maximum amount specified by the fast food employee. The fast food employer must comply with state law regarding notation of deductions on fast food employees’ statements of wages.
  5. A fast food employer is not required to honor an authorization for a contribution to a not-for-profit:

   1. Of less than $6 per paycheck if the fast food employee is paid every two weeks, or less than $3 per paycheck if the fast food employee is paid every week; or

   2. More than once per pay period.

  1. Processing fee. Upon request by a fast food employer, the not-for-profit shall reimburse the fast food employer for the costs associated with deduction and remittance, as calculated pursuant to rules of the office.
  2. Written notice of rights and obligations. A fast food employer shall provide written notice to its fast food employees of their rights and of the fast food employer’s obligations under this section on a form provided by the office. Such notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the fast food establishment. Such notice shall include a statement that labor organizations as defined by the national labor relations act, employee organizations as defined by subdivision 5 of section 201 of the civil service law, and labor organizations as defined in subdivision 5 of section 701 of the labor law are not permitted to seek remittances under this chapter pursuant to subdivision b of section 20-1310.

§ 20-1303 Registration by not-for-profits required.

  1. Before it may accept deductions pursuant to this chapter, a not-for-profit shall register with the office by providing the following in the manner prescribed by the office:

   1. The name, physical address, email address, web address, if any, and phone number of the not-for-profit and a contact;

   2. Proof of status as a not-for-profit that has not been suspended or dissolved pursuant to the laws of the state of its incorporation;

   3. Facially valid written authorizations in the form described in subdivision a of section 20-1302 from at least 500 fast food employees, though such authorizations need not be from employees employed by the same fast food employer;

   4. Proof that the not-for-profit has provided the information required by section 20-1304 to the fast food employee; and

   5. The not-for-profit organization’s form 990 of the Internal Revenue Service of the United States Department of the Treasury or other equivalent tax filing for the three most recent tax years for which such form was filed.

  1. The office shall issue a registration letter to the registered not-for-profit confirming that it has met the conditions required to trigger the requirements of this chapter. A not-for-profit or fast food employee seeking to have a fast food employer make payroll deductions pursuant to this chapter must provide a copy of the office’s registration letter to the relevant fast food employer along with the request for such deductions authorization.

§ 20-1304 Not-for-profit required disclosure.

  1. Before any deduction pursuant to this chapter is made, the not-for-profit shall provide the relevant fast food employee the following information concerning its operations:

   1. Name, contact, physical address, email address, web address, if any, and phone number;

   2. Information about the not-for-profit’s governance, which shall include any officers and directors and may include members or shareholders as the director shall require;

   3. Information about the not-for-profit’s mission, programs and areas of focus;

   4. When prescribed by the director, a list of the not-for-profit’s employees;

   5. Information about the not-for-profit’s finances, including its sources of funding, budget and expenditures; and

   6. A statement that labor organizations as defined by the national labor relations act, employee organizations as defined by subdivision 5 of section 201 of the civil service law, and labor organizations as defined in subdivision 5 of section 701 of the labor law are not permitted to seek remittances under this chapter pursuant to subdivision b of section 20-1310.

  1. The not-for-profit may satisfy the disclosure requirements of this section by the conspicuous posting of the information on a single webpage on the website of the covered not-for-profit dedicated to fulfilling the disclosure requirements of this section, provided that the website address of such page is included on the authorization described in section 20-1302 or other written document provided to the fast food employee and that such website address is preceded by language indicating that legally required disclosures are contained there.

§ 20-1305 Recordkeeping.

  1. A fast food employer must keep records of the following for two years:

   1. Deduction authorizations and revocations made pursuant to this chapter;

   2. Remittances pursuant to this chapter;

   3. Deductions pursuant to this chapter;

   4. A copy of the authorization required by subdivision d of section 20-1302;

   5. Proof of distribution of the notice to fast food employees required by subdivision h of section 20-1302;

  1. The failure to keep records required by this section creates an inference that such records would be unfavorable to that fast food employer, and a factfinder may use such inference to establish facts in support of a final determination pursuant to sections 20-1307 and 20-1308.

§ 20-1306 Retaliation prohibited.

No person shall take any adverse action against a fast food employee that penalizes such employee for, or is reasonably likely to deter such employee from, exercising or attempting to exercise any right protected under this chapter. Taking an adverse action includes threatening, intimidating, disciplining, discharging, demoting, suspending or harassing a fast food employee, reducing the hours or pay of a fast food employee, informing another employer that a fast food employee has engaged in activities protected by this chapter, and discriminating against the fast food employee, including actions related to perceived immigration status or work authorization. A fast food employee need not explicitly refer to this chapter or the rights enumerated herein to be protected from retaliation.

§ 20-1307 Enforcement.

  1. The office shall investigate potential violations and enforce the provisions of this chapter consistent with sections 20-a and 2203 of the charter and with all powers and duties described therein and according to rules and policies of the office.
  2. Violations by fast food employers.

   1. Except as provided in subdivision c of this section, an aggrieved fast food employee or duly authorized representative thereof or an aggrieved not-for-profit may file a complaint with the office regarding violations of this chapter by a fast food employer. Except for an allegation of retaliation in violation of section 20-1306, the office shall only investigate such a complaint if the relevant not-for-profit demonstrates that it has complied with sections 20-1303 and 20-1304 by providing a copy of the registration letter.

   2. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision c of this section, if a fast food employer is found to have violated this chapter, including by retaliation, the office may award any of the following, in addition to any other remedy provided in the charter or other law:

      (a) Deductions and remittances as authorized by the fast food employee and the payment of interest to the not-for-profit from the date of the failure to deduct or remit based on the interest rate then in effect as prescribed by the superintendent of banks pursuant to section 14-a of the banking law, but in any event at a rate of no less than six percent per year; and

      (b) Payment of a further sum as a civil penalty in an amount not exceeding $500 for each violation of this chapter. However, in cases where a final disposition has been entered against a fast food employer twice within any consecutive three-year period determining that such fast food employer has willfully failed to deduct or remit funds in accordance with this chapter, or has retaliated against a fast food employee in violation of section 20-1306, the office may impose a civil penalty in an amount not exceeding $1,000 for each violation of this chapter.

      (c) Reinstatement, back pay and other appropriate relief for any fast food employee found to have been subject to retaliation in violation of section 20-1306.

   3. In assessing an appropriate remedy, due consideration shall be given to the gravity of the violation, the history of previous violations, and the good faith of the fast food employer. No procedure or remedy set forth in this section is exclusive of or a prerequisite for asserting a claim for relief to enforce any rights under this chapter in a court of competent jurisdiction.

  1. Failure to honor a revocation. A fast food employer or a not-for-profit that the office finds has failed to honor the revocation of a fast food employee of voluntary deductions and instead has retained contributions after revocation shall refund the fast food employee the amount of the contribution wrongfully retained. If the refund to the fast food employee is not made within 60 days of receipt of the revocation by the party that retained the contribution, the office may require the payment of interest on the amount of the refund owed based on the rate then in effect as prescribed by the superintendent of banks pursuant to section 14-a of the banking law, but in any event at a rate of no less than six percent per year.
  2. False or misleading disclosures to fast food employees. It is a violation of this chapter for a not-for-profit intentionally to make materially false or misleading disclosures to fast food employees under subdivision a of section 20-1304, and as set forth in rules prescribed by the director. Where a violation is established, such not-for-profit shall cure the false or misleading statements to fast food employees within 30 days. Upon establishing a second such violation within two years of a previous violation, the director shall revoke any previously issued letter of registration as set forth in subdivision b of section 20-1303.
  3. The office shall make rules establishing a process for such interested parties as the office may identify by rule to petition the director to re-examine or revoke a not-for-profit’s registration pursuant to this chapter.
  4. Any party with rights under this chapter may bring an action pursuant to article 78 of the civil practice law and rules to enforce, vacate or modify an order, determination or other disposition of the office, the office of administrative trials and hearings or other relevant tribunal.

§ 20-1308 Civil action.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, any person claiming to be aggrieved by a fast food employer’s violation of this chapter has a cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction for damages, including punitive damages, and for injunctive relief and such other remedies as may be appropriate, if the relevant not-for-profit demonstrates that it has complied with sections 20-1303 and 20-1304 by providing a copy of the registration letter from the office unless such person has filed a complaint with the office with respect to such claim. If the court finds in favor of the plaintiff, it shall award such person, in addition to other relief, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
  2. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of subdivision a of this section, if the office dismisses a complaint or the complaint is withdrawn, an aggrieved person maintains all rights to commence a civil action pursuant to this section.

   1. An employee need not file a complaint with the office before bringing a civil action; however, no person shall file a civil action after filing a complaint with the office unless such complaint has been withdrawn or dismissed without prejudice to further action.

   2. No person shall file a complaint with the office after filing a civil action unless such action has been withdrawn or dismissed without prejudice to further action.

  1. A civil action under this section shall be commenced in accordance with subdivision 2 of section 214 of the civil practice law and rules.
  2. This chapter does not limit a fast food employee’s right to bring any other action authorized by law.

§ 20-1309 Limitations period.

The office shall not investigate violations of this chapter committed more than two years before the filing of a complaint or the commencement of such investigation, whichever is earlier. Each failure to comply with this chapter constitutes a separate violation; a pattern of such violations is a continuing violation for purposes of assessing the limitations period.

§ 20-1310 Application; exclusion of labor organizations.

  1. This chapter does not discourage, prohibit, preempt or displace any law, regulation, rule, requirement, written policy or standard that is at least as protective of a fast food employee as the requirements of this chapter.
  2. This chapter does not authorize deductions prohibited by section 193 of the labor law or remittances to labor organizations. For purposes of this subdivision, the term “labor organization shall mean:

   1. A “labor organization” as defined in subdivision 5 of section 701 of the labor law;

   2. An “employee organization” as defined in subdivision 5 of section 201 of the civil service law; or

   3. A “labor organization” within the meaning of subsection (5) of 29 U.S.C. § 152, which defines a labor organization as “any organization of any kind, or any agency or employee representation committee or plan, in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work,” as such definition is interpreted by the national labor relations board.

  1. The office shall promulgate rules necessary to ensure that this law will be applied in a manner consistent with federal or state labor law and will not affect the relationship among workers or employees and employers, and the entities described in subdivision b, except as specifically provided in this chapter.

Chapter 12: Fair Work Practices

Subchapter 1: General Provisions

§ 20-1201 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, except as otherwise specifically provided, the following terms have the following meanings:

Chain. The term “chain” means a set of establishments that share a common brand or that are characterized by standardized options for decor, marketing, packaging, products and services.

Director. The term “director” means the director of the office of labor standards established pursuant to section 20-a of the charter.

Employee. The term “employee” means any person covered by the definition of “employee” set forth in subdivision 5 of section 651 of the labor law or by the definition of “employee” set forth in 29 U.S.C. § 203(e) and who is employed within the city and who performs work on a full-time or part-time basis, including work performed in a transitional jobs program pursuant to section 336-f of the social services law, but not including work performed as a participant in a work experience program pursuant to section 336-c of the social services law. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the term “employee” does not include any person who is employed by (i) the United States government; (ii) the state of New York, including any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society or other body of the state, including the legislature and the judiciary; or (iii) the city or any local government, municipality or county or any entity governed by section 92 of the general municipal law or section 207 of the county law.

Employer. The term “employer” means any person or entity covered by the definition of “employer” set forth in subdivision 6 of section 651 of the labor law or any person or entity covered by the definition of “employer” set forth in in 29 U.S.C. § 203(d). Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the term “employer” does not include (i) the United States government; (ii) the state of New York, including any office, department, independent agency, authority, institution, association, society or other body of the state including the legislature and the judiciary; or (iii) the city or any local government, municipality or county or any entity governed by section 92 of the general municipal law or section 207 of the county law.

Fast food employee. The term “fast food employee” means any person employed or permitted to work at or for a fast food establishment by any employer that is located within the city where such person’s job duties include at least one of the following: customer service, cooking, food or drink preparation, delivery, security, stocking supplies or equipment, cleaning or routine maintenance. The term “fast food employee” does not include any employee who is salaried.

Fast food employer. The term “fast food employer” means any employer that employs a fast food employee at a fast food establishment.

Fast food establishment. The term “fast food establishment” means any establishment (i) that has as its primary purpose serving food or drink items; (ii) where patrons order or select items and pay before eating and such items may be consumed on the premises, taken out or delivered to the customer’s location; (iii) that offers limited service; (iv) that is part of a chain; and (v) that is one of 30 or more establishments nationally, including (A) an integrated enterprise that owns or operates 30 or more such establishments in the aggregate nationally or (B) an establishment operated pursuant to a franchise where the franchisor and the franchisees of such franchisor own or operate 30 or more such establishments in the aggregate nationally. The term “fast food establishment” includes such establishments located within non-fast food establishments.

Franchise. The term “franchise” has the same definition as set forth in section 681 of the general business law.

Franchisee. The term “franchisee” means a person or entity to whom a franchise is granted.

Franchisor. The term “franchisor” means a person or entity who grants a franchise to another person or entity.

Integrated enterprise. The term “integrated enterprise” means two or more entities sufficiently integrated so as to be considered a single employer as determined by application of the following factors: (i) degree of interrelation between the operations of multiple entities; (ii) degree to which the entities share common management; (iii) centralized control of labor relations; and (iv) degree of common ownership or financial control.

Office. The term “office” means the office of labor standards established pursuant to section 20-a of the charter.

On-call shift. The term “on-call shift” means any time period other than an employee’s regular shift when the employer requires the employee to be available to work, regardless of whether the employee actually works and regardless of whether the employer requires the employee to report to a work location.

Regular shift. The term “regular shift” means a span of consecutive hours starting when an employer requires an employee to report to a work location and ending when such employee is free to leave a work location. Breaks totaling two hours or less are not an interruption of consecutive hours, provided that such breaks do not include time when the employee’s work location is closed. “Regular shift” does not include the hours worked by an employee who is called into work while on an on-call shift.

Retail employer. The term “retail employer” means any employer that employs a retail employee at a retail business. The term “retail business” means any entity with 20 or more employees that is engaged primarily in the sale of consumer goods at one or more stores within the city. For the purposes of this definition, “consumer goods” means products that are primarily for personal, household, or family purposes, including but not limited to appliances, clothing, electronics, groceries, and household items. In determining the number of employees performing work for a retail business for compensation, all employees performing work for compensation on a full-time, part-time or temporary basis shall be counted, provided that where the number of employees who work for an employer for compensation fluctuates, business size may be determined for the current calendar year based upon the average number of employees who worked for compensation per week during the preceding calendar year, and provided further that in determining the number of employees performing work for an employer that is a chain business, the total number of employees in that group of establishments shall be counted.

Retail employee. The term “retail employee” means any employee who is employed by a retail employer.

Schedule change premium. The term “schedule change premium” means money that an employer pays to an employee as compensation for changes the employer makes to the employee’s work schedule, including: canceling, shortening or moving to another date and time shifts, including on-call shifts; adding additional hours to shifts already scheduled; adding previously unscheduled shifts to the work schedule; and not requiring employees to report to work during on-call shifts. Such payment is not wages earned for work performed by that employee but rather is in addition to wages.

Work schedule. The term “work schedule” means the regular shifts and on-call shifts that an employer assigns to an employee and includes the dates, times and locations where an employer requires an employee to work.

§ 20-1202 Outreach and education.

The director shall conduct outreach and education about the provisions of this chapter. Such outreach and education shall be provided to employers, employees and members of the public who are likely to be affected by this law.

§ 20-1203 Reporting.

The director shall report annually on the city’s website, without revealing identifying information about any non-public matter or complaint, on the effectiveness of its enforcement activities under this chapter. The report shall include the following information:

  1. Administrative actions.

   1. The number and nature of complaints received;

   2. The results of investigations undertaken, including the number of complaints not substantiated and the number of notices of violations issued;

   3. The number and nature of administrative adjudications;

   4. The number of complaints resolved through mediation or conciliation, if any; and

   5. The average time for a complaint to be resolved.

  1. Civil actions. The number, nature, and outcomes of civil actions commenced by the corporation counsel against employers involving violations under this chapter.

§ 20-1204 Retaliation.

  1. No person shall take any adverse action against an employee that penalizes such employee for, or is reasonably likely to deter such employee from, exercising or attempting to exercise any right protected under this chapter. Taking an adverse action includes threatening, intimidating, disciplining, discharging, demoting, suspending or harassing an employee, reducing the hours or pay of an employee, informing another employer that an employee has engaged in activities protected by this chapter, and discriminating against the employee, including actions related to perceived immigration status or work authorization. An employee need not explicitly refer to this chapter or the rights enumerated herein to be protected from retaliation.

§ 20-1205 Notice and posting of rights.

  1. The director shall publish and make available notices for employers to post in the workplace or at any job site informing employees of their rights protected under each subchapter of this chapter before the effective date of the local law that added each corresponding subchapter. Such notices shall be made available in a downloadable format on the city’s website in accordance with the requirements for language access as described in chapter 11 of title 23. The director shall update such notices if any changes are made to the requirements of this chapter or as otherwise deemed appropriate by the director.
  2. In accordance with the rules of the office, every employer shall conspicuously post at any workplace or job site where any employee works the notices described in subdivision a of this section that are applicable to the particular workplace or job site. Such notices shall be in English and any language spoken as a primary language by at least five percent of employees at that location if the director has made the notice available in that language.

§ 20-1206 Recordkeeping

  1. Employers shall retain records documenting their compliance with the applicable requirements of this chapter for a period of three years and shall allow the office to access such records and other information, in accordance with applicable law and with appropriate notice, in furtherance of an investigation conducted pursuant to this chapter.
  2. An employer’s failure to maintain, retain or produce a record or other information required to be maintained by this chapter and requested by the office in furtherance of an investigation conducted pursuant to this chapter that is relevant to a material fact alleged by the office in a notice of violation issued pursuant to this subchapter creates a rebuttable presumption that such fact is true.

§ 20-1207 Administrative enforcement; jurisdiction and complaint procedures.

  1. Jurisdiction. The director shall enforce the provisions of this chapter.
  2. Complaints and investigations.

   1. Any person, including any organization, alleging a violation of this chapter may file a complaint with the office within two years of the date the person knew or should have known of the alleged violation.

   2. Upon receiving such a complaint, the office shall investigate it.

   3. The office may open an investigation on its own initiative.

   4. A person or entity under investigation shall, in accordance with applicable law, provide the office with information or evidence that the office requests pursuant to the investigation. If, as a result of an investigation of a complaint or an investigation conducted upon its own initiative, the office believes that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the office may attempt to resolve it through any action authorized by section 20-a of the charter. Adjudicatory powers pursuant to this subchapter may be exercised by the director or by the office of administrative trials and hearings pursuant to section 20-a of the charter.

   5. The office shall keep the identity of any complainant confidential unless disclosure is necessary to resolve the investigation or is otherwise required by law. The office shall, to the extent practicable, notify such complainant that the office will be disclosing the complainant’s identity before such disclosure.

§ 20-1208 Specific administrative remedies for employees or former employees.

  1. For violations of this chapter, the office may grant the following relief to employees or former employees:

   1. All compensatory damages and other relief required to make the employee or former employee whole;

   2. An order directing compliance with the notice and posting of rights and recordkeeping requirements set forth in sections 20-1205 and 20-1206; and

   3. For each violation of:

      (a) Section 20-1204,

         (1) Rescission of any discipline issued, reinstatement of any employee terminated and payment of back pay for any loss of pay or benefits resulting from discipline or other action taken in violation of section 20-1204;

         (2) $500 for each violation not involving termination; and

         (3) $2,500 for each violation involving termination;

      (b) Section 20-1221, $200 and an order directing compliance with section 20-1221;

      (c) Section 20-1222, payment of schedule change premiums withheld in violation of section 20-1222 and $300;

      (d) Section 20-1231, payment as required under section 20-1231, $500 and an order directing compliance with section 20-1231;

      (e) Section 20-1241, $300 and an order directing compliance with section 20-1241;

      (f) Subdivision a of section 20-1251, the greater of $500 or such employee’s actual damages;

      (g) Subdivisions a and b of section 20-1252, $300; and

      (h) Subdivision a or b of section 20-1262, $500 and an order directing compliance with such subdivision, provided, however, that an employer who fails to provide an employee with the written response required by subdivision a of section 20-1262 may cure the violation without a penalty being imposed by presenting proof to the satisfaction of the office that it provided the employee with the required written response within seven days of the office notifying the employer of the opportunity to cure.

  1. The relief authorized by this section shall be imposed on a per employee and per instance basis for each violation.

§ 20-1209 Specific civil penalties payable to the city.

  1. For each violation of this chapter, an employer is liable for a penalty of $500 for the first violation and, for subsequent violations that occur within two years of any previous violation of this chapter, up to $750 for the second violation and up to $1,000 for each succeeding violation.
  2. The penalties imposed pursuant to this section shall be imposed on a per employee and per instance basis for each violation.

§ 20-1210 Enforcement by the corporation counsel.

The corporation counsel or such other persons designated by the corporation counsel on behalf of the office may initiate in any court of competent jurisdiction any action or proceeding that may be appropriate or necessary for correction of any violation issued pursuant to sections 20-1207 through 20-1209, including actions to secure permanent injunctions, enjoining any acts or practices that constitute such violation, mandating compliance with the provisions of this chapter or such other relief as may be appropriate.

§ 20-1211 Private cause of action.

  1. Claims. Any person, including any organization, alleging a violation of the following provisions of this chapter may bring a civil action, in accordance with applicable law, in any court of competent jurisdiction:

   1. Section 20-1204;

   2. Section 20-1221;

   3. Subdivisions a and b of section 20-1222;

   4. Section 20-1231;

   5. Subdivisions a, b, d, f and g of section 20-1241;

   6. Section 20-1251; and

   7. Subdivisions a and b of section 20-1252.

  1. Remedies. Such court may order compensatory, injunctive and declaratory relief, including the following remedies for violations of this chapter:

   1. Payment of schedule change premiums withheld in violation of section 20-1222;

   2. An order directing compliance with the recordkeeping, information, posting and consent requirements set forth in sections 20-1205, 20-1206 and 20-1221;

   3. Rescission of any discipline issued in violation of section 20-1204;

   4. Reinstatement of any employee terminated in violation of section 20-1204;

   5. Payment of back pay for any loss of pay or benefits resulting from discipline or other action taken in violation of section 20-1204;

   6. Other compensatory damages and any other relief required to make the employee whole; and

   7. Reasonable attorney’s fees.

  1. Statute of limitations. A civil action under this section shall be commenced within two years of the date the person knew or should have known of the alleged violation.
  2. Relationship to office action.

   1. Any person filing a civil action shall simultaneously serve notice of such action and a copy of the complaint upon the office. Failure to so serve a notice does not adversely affect any plaintiff’s cause of action.

   2. An employee need not file a complaint with the office pursuant to subdivision b of section 20-1207 before bringing a civil action; however, no person shall file a civil action after filing a complaint with the office unless such complaint has been withdrawn or dismissed without prejudice to further action.

   3. No person shall file a complaint with the office after filing a civil action unless such action has been withdrawn or dismissed without prejudice to further action.

   4. The commencement or pendency of a civil action by an employee does not preclude the office from investigating the employer or commencing, prosecuting or settling a case against the employer based on some or all of the same violations.

§ 20-1212 Civil action by corporation counsel for pattern or practice of violations.

  1. Cause of action.

   1. Where reasonable cause exists to believe that an employer is engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of this chapter, the corporation counsel may commence a civil action on behalf of the city in a court of competent jurisdiction.

   2. The corporation counsel shall commence such action by filing a complaint setting forth facts relating to such pattern or practice and requesting relief, which may include injunctive relief, civil penalties and any other appropriate relief.

   3. Such action may be commenced only by the corporation counsel or such other persons designated by the corporation counsel.

   4. Nothing in this section prohibits (i) the office from exercising its authority under section 20-1207 through 20-1209, or (ii) a person alleging a violation of this chapter from filing a complaint pursuant to section 20-1207 or a civil action pursuant to section 20-1211 based on the same facts pertaining to such a pattern or practice, provided that a civil action pursuant to this section shall not have previously been commenced.

  1. Investigation. The corporation counsel may initiate any investigation to ascertain such facts as may be necessary for the commencement of a civil action pursuant to subdivision a of this section, and in connection therewith shall have the power to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents, to administer oaths and to examine such persons as are deemed necessary.
  2. Civil penalty. In any civil action commenced pursuant to subdivision a of this section, the trier of fact may impose a civil penalty of not more than $15,000 for a finding that an employer has engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of this chapter. Any civil penalty so recovered shall be paid into the general fund of the city.

Subchapter 2: Advance Scheduling and Schedule Change Premiums

§ 20-1221 Advance scheduling.

  1. No later than when a new fast food employee receives such employee’s first work schedule, a fast food employer shall provide such employee with a good faith estimate in writing setting forth the number of hours a fast food employee can expect to work per week for the duration of the employee’s employment and the expected dates, times and locations of those hours. If a long-term or indefinite change is made to the good faith estimate, the fast food employer shall provide an updated good faith estimate to the affected employee as soon as possible and before such employee receives the first work schedule following the change.
  2. A fast food employer shall provide a fast food employee with written notice of a work schedule containing regular shifts and on-call shifts on or before the employee’s first day of work. For all subsequent work schedules, the fast food employer shall provide such notice no later than 14 days before the first day of any new schedule. Such work schedule shall span a period of no less than seven days and contain all anticipated regular shifts and on-call shifts that the employee will work or will be required to be available to work during the work schedule.
  3. A fast food employer shall:

   1. Provide fast food employees with written notice of the work schedule as required by subdivision b of this section by (i) posting the schedule in a conspicuous place at the workplace that is readily accessible and visible to all employees and (ii) transmitting the work schedule to each fast food employee, including by electronic means, if such means are regularly used to communicate scheduling information. The office may by rule establish requirements or exceptions necessary to ensure the privacy and safety of employees in connection with such posting and transmittal;

   2. Update such schedule within 24 hours of the employer’s knowledge of a change or as soon as practicable if the change is effective within 24 hours, provide the revised written schedule to the affected employees and re-post the schedule in accordance with paragraph one of this subdivision; and

   3. Upon request by any fast food employee, and in accordance with the rules of the office, provide such employee with (i) such employee’s work schedule in writing for any previous week worked for the past three years and (ii) the most current version of work schedules of all fast food employees who work at the same fast food establishment as the requesting employee, whether or not changes to the work schedule have been posted.

  1. A fast food employee may decline to work or be available to work additional hours not included in the initial written work schedule provided pursuant to subdivision b of this section. When a fast food employee consents to work or be available to work such hours, the employee’s written consent must be obtained, which consent may be transmitted electronically or otherwise at or before the start of the shift.

§ 20-1222 Schedule change premium.

  1. A fast food employer shall provide a fast food employee with the following schedule change premium amount, in addition to the employee’s regular pay for shifts actually worked by the employee:

   1. With less than 14 days’ notice but at least 7 days’ notice to the employee, $10 for each change to the work schedule in which:

      (a) Additional hours or shifts are added pursuant to subdivision d of section 20-1221; or

      (b) The date or start or end time of a regular shift or on-call shift is changed with no loss of hours;

   2. With less than 14 days’ notice but at least 7 days’ notice to the employee, $20 for each change to the work schedule in which:

      (a) Hours are subtracted from a regular or on-call shift; or

      (b) A regular or on-call shift is cancelled;

   3. With less than 7 days’ notice to the employee, $15 for each change to the work schedule in which:

      (a) Additional hours or shifts are added pursuant to subdivision d of section 20-1221; or

      (b) The date or start or end time of a regular or on-call shift is changed with no loss of hours;

   4. With less than 7 days’ but at least 24 hours’ notice to the employee, $45 for each change to the work schedule in which:

      (a) Hours are subtracted from a regular or on-call shift; or

      (b) A regular or on-call shift is cancelled; and

   5. With less than 24 hours’ notice to the employee, $75 for each change to the work schedule in which:

      (a) Hours are subtracted from a regular or on-call shift; or

      (b) A regular or on-call shift is cancelled.

  1. A fast food employer shall pay the schedule change premiums required under this subchapter at such time as the employer pays an employee wages owed for work performed during that work week. Schedule change premium pay shall be separately noted on a wage stub or other form of written documentation and provided to the employee for that pay period.
  2. Notwithstanding subdivisions a and b of this section, a fast food employer is not required to provide a fast food employee with the amounts set forth in such subdivisions in the event that:

   1. The employer’s operations cannot begin or continue due to:

      (a) Threats to the employees or the employer’s property;

      (b) The failure of a public utility or the shutdown of public transportation;

      (c) A fire, flood or other natural disaster;

      (d) A state of emergency declared by the president of the United States, governor of the state of New York, or mayor of the city; or

      (e) Severe weather conditions that pose a threat to employee safety, although where a fast food employer adds shifts to an employee’s schedule to cover for or replace another employee who cannot safely travel to work, such employer shall provide the replacing or covering employee with the amounts set forth in subdivision a of this section;

   2. The employee requested in writing a change in schedule;

   3. Two employees voluntarily traded shifts with one another, subject to any existing employer policy regarding required conditions for employees to exchange shifts; or

   4. The employer is required to pay the employee overtime pay for a changed shift.

Subchapter 3: Minimum Time Between Shifts

§ 20-1231 Minimum time between shifts.

Unless the fast food employee requests or consents to work such hours in writing, no fast food employer shall require any fast food employee to work two shifts with fewer than 11 hours between the end of the first shift and the beginning of the second shift when the first shift ends the previous calendar day or spans two calendar days. The fast food employer shall pay the fast food employee $100 for each instance that the employee works such shifts.

Subchapter 4: Access to Hours

§ 20-1241 Offering additional shifts to current fast food employees.

  1. Before hiring new fast food employees, including hiring through the use of subcontractors, a fast food employer shall offer regular shifts or on call shifts that would otherwise be offered to a new fast food employee to the fast food employer’s current fast food employees employed at all fast food establishments owned by the fast food employer, or at a subset of such fast food establishments as provided in rules promulgated pursuant to subdivision j. A fast food employer may not transfer fast food employees from locations other than the location where such shifts will be worked or hire new fast food employees, including subcontractors, to perform the work of fast food employees for such shifts, except as provided for in subdivisions f, g and i.
  2. When shifts become available that must be offered to current fast food employees pursuant to subdivision a, a fast food employer shall post a notice that states the number of shifts being offered; the schedule of the shifts; whether the shifts will occur at the same time each week; the length of time such fast food employer anticipates requiring coverage of the shifts; the number of fast food employees needed to cover the shifts; the process, date and time by which fast food employees may notify such fast food employer of their desire to work the shifts; the criteria such fast food employer will use for the distribution of the shifts; an advisement that a fast food employee may accept a subset of the shifts offered but that shifts will be distributed according to the criteria described in the notice; and an advisement that while fast food employees working at all locations owned by the fast food employer may accept offered shifts immediately, shifts will be distributed first to fast food employees currently employed at the location where the shifts will be worked. The fast food employer shall post such notice for three consecutive calendar days in a conspicuous and accessible location where notices to fast food employees are customarily posted, unless a shorter posting period is necessary in order for the work to be timely performed as may be prescribed by the rules of the director. The fast food employer shall also provide the notice in writing directly to each fast food employee electronically.
  3. Subject to distribution of shifts pursuant to subdivision d, a fast food employee employed at any location owned by the fast food employer offering shifts may accept shifts immediately and may accept any subset of shifts offered.
  4. A fast food employer shall distribute shifts, in accordance with the criteria contained in the notice required by subdivision b, to one or more fast food employees who have accepted such shifts and are employed at the location where such shifts will be worked. A fast food employer shall distribute shifts to fast food employees employed at locations other than the location where such shifts will be worked in accordance with subdivision f. A fast food employer’s system for the distribution of shifts shall not violate any federal, state or local law, including laws that prohibit discrimination.
  5. A fast food employee’s written acceptance of an offer of shifts constitutes written consent to the addition of shifts if such consent is required by subdivision d of section 20-1221, but does not constitute a written request for a change in schedule as described in paragraph 2 of subdivision c of section 20-1222. A fast food employer shall pay a schedule change premium to fast food employees who accept additional shifts offered pursuant to this section when required by section 20-1222.
  6. If no fast food employee who is employed at the location where offered shifts will be worked accepts such shifts within three consecutive calendar days of the offer, or, in the case of shifts that are offered with less than three days’ notice to a fast food employee before the start of such shifts, no less than 24 hours before the start of such shifts unless such 24 hour period is impracticable under the circumstances, the fast food employer may distribute such shifts to fast food employees from other locations who accept such shifts or may hire or contract for such new fast food employees as are necessary to perform the work described in, and in accordance with the criteria contained in, the notice posted pursuant to subdivision b; provided, however, that the fast food employer shall distribute such shifts to fast food employees from other locations who have accepted such shifts before such employer proceeds to hire or contract for new fast food employees for such shifts. In the case of shifts that are offered with less than 24 hours’ notice to a fast food employee, the fast food employer shall wait as long as practicable under the circumstances before distributing such shifts to fast food employees from other locations or hiring or contracting for new fast food employees.
    1. If in accordance with subdivision b a fast food employer provides notice of additional shifts to all of its fast food employees and receives written confirmation from all fast food employees employed at the location where such hours will be worked before the expiration of the period for their acceptance pursuant to subdivision f that those fast food employees do not accept the shifts offered, or if some such fast food employees have accepted some but not all of the offered shifts and the fast food employer receives written confirmation from all other fast food employees employed at such location before the expiration of the period for their acceptance pursuant to subdivision f that they do not accept the shifts offered, such fast food employer may immediately distribute such shifts to fast food employees from other locations who accept such shifts in accordance with the criteria set forth in the notice posted pursuant to subdivision b.

   2. If in accordance with subdivision b a fast food employer provides notice of additional shifts to all of its fast food employees employed at all locations owned by the fast food employer or at a subset of such fast food establishments as provided in rules promulgated pursuant to subdivision j, and receives written confirmation from all such fast food employees before the expiration of the period for their acceptance pursuant to subdivision f that they do not accept the shifts offered, or if some such fast food employees have accepted some but not all of the offered shifts and the fast food employer receives written confirmation from all other fast food employees employed at all locations owned by that fast food employer or at a subset of such fast food establishments as provided in rules promulgated pursuant to subdivision j before the expiration of the period for their acceptance pursuant to subdivision f that they do not accept the shifts offered, the fast food employer may immediately proceed with hiring or contracting for new fast food employees to perform the work described in, and in accordance with the criteria set forth in, the notice posted pursuant to subdivision b.

  1. A fast food employer is encouraged to make reasonable efforts to offer fast food employees training opportunities to gain the skills and experience to perform work for which such employer regularly has additional needs.
  2. This subchapter shall not be construed to require any fast food employer to offer, or prohibit any fast food employer from offering, any fast food employee any shift or hours that must be paid:

   1. At a rate not less than one and one-half times the fast food employee’s regular rate of pay under 29 U.S.C. § 207(a); or

   2. At a rate governed by the overtime requirements of the labor law or the overtime requirements of any minimum wage order promulgated by the New York commissioner of labor pursuant to labor law article 19 or 19-A.

  1. The director may promulgate rules regarding how and to which fast food employees offers of shifts pursuant to subdivision g shall be made by fast food employers that own at least 50 fast food establishments in the city based on the geographic distribution of such establishments.

Subchapter 5: On-Call Scheduling

§ 20-1251 On-call scheduling prohibited.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, a retail employer shall not:

   1. Schedule a retail employee for any on-call shift;

   2. Cancel any regular shift for a retail employee within 72 hours of the scheduled start of such shift;

   3. Require a retail employee to work with fewer than 72 hours’ notice, unless the employee consents in writing; or

   4. Require a retail employee to contact a retail employer to confirm whether or not the employee should report for a regular shift fewer than 72 hours before the start of such shift.

  1. Notwithstanding subdivision a of this section, a retail employer may:

   1. Grant a retail employee time off pursuant to an employee’s request;

   2. Allow a retail employee to trade shifts with another retail employee; and

   3. Make changes to retail employees’ work schedules with less than 72 hours’ notice if the employer’s operations cannot begin or continue due to:

      (a) Threats to the retail employees or the retail employer’s property;

      (b) The failure of public utilities or the shutdown of public transportation;

      (c) A fire, flood or other natural disaster; or

      (d) A state of emergency declared by the president of the United States, governor of the state of New York or mayor of the city.

§ 20-1252 Work schedules.

  1. A retail employer shall provide a retail employee with a written work schedule no later than 72 hours before the first shift on the work schedule.
  2. A retail employer shall conspicuously post in a location that is accessible and visible to all retail employees at the work location the work schedule of all the retail employees at that work location at least 72 hours before the beginning of the scheduled hours of work and shall update the schedule and directly notify affected retail employees after making changes to the work schedule. Retail employers shall also transmit the work schedule by electronic means, if such means are regularly used to communicate scheduling information. The office may by rule establish requirements or exceptions necessary to ensure the privacy and safety of employees.
  3. Upon request by a retail employee, a retail employer shall provide the employee with such employee’s work schedule in writing for any week worked within the prior three years and the most current version of the work schedule for all retail employees at that work location, whether or not changes to the work schedule have been posted.

§ 20-1253 Collective bargaining agreements.

The provisions of this subchapter do not apply to any retail employee covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement, including an agreement that is open for negotiation, if (i) such provisions are expressly waived in such collective bargaining agreement and (ii) the agreement addresses employee scheduling.

Subchapter 6: Temporary Changes to Work Schedules for Personal Events and Protections from Retaliation for Making Schedule Change Requests

§ 20-1261 Definitions.

  1. For purposes of this subchapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

   Business day. The term “business day” means any 24-hour period when an employer requires employees to work at any time.

   Caregiver. The term “caregiver” means a person who provides direct and ongoing care for a minor child or a care recipient.

   Care recipient. The term “care recipient” means a person with a disability who (i) is a family member or a person who resides in the caregiver’s household and (ii) relies on the caregiver for medical care or to meet the needs of daily living.

   Minor child. The term “minor child” means a child under the age of 18.

   Personal event. The term “personal event” means (i) the need for a caregiver to provide care to a minor child or care recipient; (ii) an employee’s need to attend a legal proceeding or hearing for subsistence benefits to which the employee, a family member or the employee’s care recipient is a party; or (iii) any circumstance that would constitute a basis for permissible use of safe time or sick time as set forth in section 20-914.

  1. For purposes of this subchapter, the following terms have the same meanings as those set forth in section 20-912: calendar year, child, family member and paid safe/sick time.

§ 20-1262 Required temporary changes and other requests for changes to a work schedule.

  1. An employer shall grant an employee’s request for a temporary change to the employee’s work schedule relating to a personal event in accordance with the following provisions, with a temporary change meaning a limited alteration in the hours or times that or locations where an employee is expected to work, including, but not limited to, using paid time off, working remotely, swapping or shifting work hours and using short-term unpaid leave:

   1. On request, the employer must grant a request for a temporary change to the employee’s work schedule under this section two times in a calendar year for up to one business day per request. The employer may permit the employee to use two business days for one request, in which case the employer need not grant a second request.

   2. An employee who requests such a change:

      (a) Shall notify such employee’s employer or direct supervisor as soon as the employee becomes aware of the need for a temporary change to the work schedule and shall inform the employer or supervisor that the change is due to a personal event;

      (b) Shall make a proposal for the temporary change to the work schedule, unless the employee seeks leave without pay; and

      (c) Need not put the initial request in writing, but as soon as is practicable, and no later than the second business day after the employee returns to work following the conclusion of the temporary change to the work schedule, the employee must submit the request in writing, indicating the date for which the change was requested and that it was due to the employee’s personal event. The employer may require that such request be submitted in electronic form if employees of the employer commonly use such electronic form to request and manage leave and schedule changes. If the employee fails to submit the written request, the employer’s obligation to respond in writing pursuant to paragraph 3 of this subdivision is waived.

   3. An employer who receives such an initial request shall respond immediately, but need not put such initial response in writing. As soon as is practicable, and no later than 14 days after the employee submits the request in writing, the employer shall provide a written response, which may be in electronic form if such form is easily accessible to the employee. An employer’s written response shall include:

      (a) Whether the employer will agree to the temporary change to the work schedule in the manner requested by the employee, or will provide the temporary change to the work schedule as leave without pay, which does not constitute a denial;

      (b) If the employer denies the request for a temporary change to the work schedule, an explanation for the denial; and

      (c) How many requests and how many business days pursuant to this subchapter the employee has left in the calendar year after taking into account the employer’s decision contained in the written response.

   4. An employer may deny a request for a temporary change to the employee’s work schedule relating to a personal event only if the employee has already exhausted the two allotted requests in the calendar year pursuant to paragraph 1 of subdivision a of this section or if an exemption set forth in section 20-1263 applies.

  1. An employee may request, and in so doing is protected by the provisions of subchapter 1 of this chapter, and an employer may grant or deny, a change to a work schedule other than the temporary changes an employer is required to grant under subdivision a of this section. An employee request for such other change to a work schedule and an employer response to such a request shall follow the procedure in paragraphs 2 and 3 of subdivision a of this section to the extent applicable and as set forth in rules promulgated by the director.
    1. An employee need not use leave accrued under chapter 8 of this title before requesting schedule changes under this subchapter.

   2. Unpaid leave granted for a personal event pursuant to this subchapter does not count toward an employer’s obligation to grant leave under chapter 8 of this title.

   3. Leave granted under chapter 8 of this title does not count toward an employer’s obligation to grant leave under this section.

   4. Nothing in this subchapter affects an employer’s obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation in the form of a change to a work schedule required pursuant to other laws or regulations or to otherwise comply with the requirements of other laws or regulations, including, but not limited to, those requirements contained in title 8.

§ 20-1263 Exemptions.

This subchapter does not:

  1. Apply to any employee who:

   1. Is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement if such agreement waives the provisions of this subchapter and addresses temporary changes to work schedules;

   2. Has been employed by the employer for fewer than 120 days;

   3. Is employed by any employer whose primary business for which that employee works is the development, creation or distribution of theatrical motion pictures, televised motion pictures, television programs or live entertainment presentations, except for an employee whose primary duty is the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers and except for an employee whose primary duty is performing routine mental, manual, mechanical or physical work in connection with the care or maintenance of an existing building or location used by the employer; or

   4. Works fewer than 80 hours in the city in a calendar year.

  1. Preempt, limit or otherwise affect the applicability of any provisions of any other law, regulation, requirement, policy or standard, other than a collective bargaining agreement, that provides comparable or superior benefits for employees to those required herein.