New Laws & Rules

New laws and rules that DCA enforces are listed below. For other City agency law and rule changes, visit Laws of the City of New York (Public Access Portal), New York City Council Legislation website, and NYC Rules.

Setting Caps on Retail Dealer Licenses

Law Effective Date: February 24, 2018
This bill expands the current requirement to possess a retail dealer license to sell cigarettes to include all retailers that sell any type of tobacco products. The bill will also restrict the availability of new retail dealer licenses by capping the number of tobacco retailer licenses in each community district at half the current number. The community district caps would not affect existing licensees who may continue to renew their licenses.

 

Increasing the Retail Cigarette Dealer License Fee

Law Effective Date: February 24, 2018
This bill would raise the biennial fee for a Cigarette Retail Dealer License from $110 to $200. This license is required to sell tobacco directly to consumers.

 

Prohibiting Pharmacies from Selling Tobacco Products

Law Effective Date: February 24, 2018
This bill would prohibit pharmacies, or retail stores that contain pharmacies, from selling tobacco products.

 

Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes

Law Effective Date: January 25, 2018
This bill would require a license to sell electronic cigarettes, similar to the license that is currently required to sell cigarettes. It would also cap the number of electronic cigarette retailers at half the current number, by community district, with the reduction in number coming through attrition. Existing sellers would be able to continue to renew their license so long as they meet all applicable licensure requirements.

 

Establishing General Provisions Governing Fair Work Practices

Law Effective Date: November 26, 2017
This bill will make the schedules of fast food employees more predictable. It will create general provisions for a fair work week chapter of the Administrative Code and will require certain fast food employers to provide employees with an estimate of their work schedule upon hire and a work schedule 14 days in advance (including all shifts). This bill will require a premium to be paid to employees for schedule changes made by the employer with less than 14 days’ notice to the employee (a greater schedule change premium is as the start of the first shift nears). Changes to schedules will will canceling, shortening, or moving shifts, adding additional hours to scheduled shifts, and adding shifts. This bill is part of a package of bills aimed at improving working conditions related to employee work schedules. The bill also renumbers, without substantive change, provisions on shipboard gambling to make room for new provisions administered by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

 

Requiring Fast Food Employers to Offer Work Shifts to Current Employees

Law Effective Date: November 26, 2017
This bill would require fast food employers with available hours to offer shifts to existing employees before hiring new employees. This bill is intended to provide part-time fast food workers with a path toward additional hours and full-time employment, should they want it. Employers would only be required to offer hours to current employees up until the point at which the employer would be required to pay overtime, or until all current employees have rejected available hours, whichever comes first. Only after the employer had exhausted options to provide shifts to current workers would the fast food employers be free to hire additional part-time workers. This bill is part of a package of bills aimed at improving working conditions related to employee work schedules.

 

Banning “Clopenings” in Fast Food Restaurants

Law Effective Date: November 26, 2017
This bill would ban “clopenings” for fast food employees; fast food employers would not be allowed to require fast food workers to work back-to-back shifts when the first shift closes the establishment and the second shift opens it the next day, with fewer than 11 hours in between. The employer will need to pay pay an employee who works a “clopening” shift $100 for each instance that such employee works such shifts.

 

Prohibiting On-call Scheduling for Retail Employees

Law Effective Date: November 26, 2017
This bill will ban the practice of “on-call scheduling” for retail employees. On-call scheduling is when an employer requires an employee to be available to work, to contact the employer or to wait to be contacted by the employer, to determine whether the employee must report to work. This bill will prohibit retail employers from cancelling, changing or adding work shifts within 72 hours of the start of the shift (except in limited cases). The bill also requires a retail employer to: post the schedule for the retail employees’ schedule 72 hours before the beginning of the scheduled hours of work, to provide (upon request by the a retail employee) a written copy of said employee’s work schedule for any week worked within the prior three years, or to provide (upon request by the a retail employee at the work location) the most current version of the work schedule for all retail employees at the at work location.

 

Providing Fast Food Employees the Ability to Make Voluntary Contributions

Law Effective Date: November 26, 2017
This bill would allow fast food employees to designate part of their salary to a not-for-profit of their choosing and require employers to deduct and remit such donation to such not-for-profit.

 

Immigration Service Providers

Law Effective Date: August 23, 2017
This bill would amend Subchapter 14 to impose stricter guidelines for providers and further protect customers against immigration services fraud and unauthorized practice of the law. Providers would be required to include specific language in their contracts related to the provider’s duties and limitations, as well as the customer’s rights. Additionally, providers would have to post required signage in English, as well as in any languages in which they provide or offer to provide services. Providers would be prohibited from offering and providing services that should only be provided by an attorney, and from making statements that could lead a customer to believe that the provider is an attorney or an immigration expert. Additionally, this bill would require that the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) provide periodic reports to the Council with information regarding the number, type, source and result of complaints against providers.

 

Implementation of Freelance Isn't Free Act

Rule Effective Date: July 24, 2017
In October 2016, the City Council passed Local Law 140 of 2016, which requires hiring parties to make timely payment to freelance workers for services performed pursuant to contract. The City Council determined that protecting freelance workers against non-payment would have a positive effect on the local economy, the freelance industry, and the financial security of freelance workers’ families, and result in a more prosperous city. These rules clarify provisions in the law, establish requirements to implement and meet the goals of the law, and provide guidance to covered hiring parties and protected freelance workers.

 

Protections for Freelance Workers

Law Effective Date: May 15, 2017
This bill would establish and enhance protections for freelance workers. Specifically: the right to written contract, the right to be paid timely and in full and the right to be free of retaliation. The bill would create penalties for violations of these rights, including statutory damages, double damages, injunctive relief and attorney’s fees. Individual cause of action would be adjudicated in state court. Where there is evidence of a pattern or practice of violations, the Corporation Counsel may bring civil action to recover, on behalf of the City, civil penalty of not more than $25,000. This bill would also require the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) to receive complaints, create a navigation program, and to gather data and report on the effectiveness of the law.

 

Establishment of a Division of Paid Care

Law Effective Date: February 27, 2017
A Local Law to amend the New York city charter and the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the establishment of a division of paid care. This bill would establish a new Division of Paid Care within the Office of Labor Standards, recognizing the growing importance of home care and child care workforces, the complex legal and policy issues involved, and the increasing needs of care recipients of every age. The Division would conduct public outreach campaigns and informational clinics to inform paid care workers of their rights; collect and publish information useful for paid care workers; coordinate with governmental agencies, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders; and develop related policies and programs. An Advocate within the Division, among other responsibilities and working with Division staff, would develop an intake and referral system for paid care workers to submit labor- and employment law-related complaints and would notify appropriate agencies about potential systemic legal violations. The Division would post on its website and submit to the Council certain information annually.

 

Updating the City's Laundry Licensing Law

Law Effective Date: January 30, 2017
Laundries in the City are licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”). The current licensing scheme dates from the early 20th Century and certain activities are not properly regulated. This bill would update the City’s laundry licensing law to better regulate the industry as it operates today. The bill would create a tiered licensing scheme to capture three distinct activities: retail laundry, industrial laundry and industrial laundry delivery. This bill would create additional requirements related to cleanliness and hygiene for industrial laundries and industrial laundry delivery services. Industrial laundries would be required to implement procedures to ensure that all laundry is hygienically cleaned and, businesses engaged in industrial laundry delivery would be required to implement procedures to ensure separation of clean and dirty laundry in order to maintain cleanliness. Finally, this bill would create a task force to review the industry and the enforcement of the law and make any recommendations to the Council and the Mayor.

 

Sale of Plants and Flowers during the Asian Lunar New Year

Law Effective Date: January 27, 2017
This bill would grant an exemption to the current laws that require street vendors to secure a license before vending goods and services on the streets of New York. This bill would allow individuals to sell plants and flowers on the day of the Asian Lunar New Year and during the seven days prior.

 

Protection of Displaced Grocery Workers

Rules Effective Date: November 10, 2016
The rules clarify provisions in the law, establish requirements to implement and meet the goals of the law, and provide guidance to covered grocery establishments and protected employees.

 

Car Wash Rules

Rules Effective Date: October 26, 2016
The rules establish requirements to implement the Law.

 

Implementation of Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act

Rules Effective Date: October 15, 2016
The rules add a new Chapter 11 to Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York to clarify provisions in the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act (the Living Wage Law) and Executive Order No. 7, establish requirements to implement the law and meet its goals, and provide guidance to employers and employees.

 

General Vendor Waiting List

Rules Effective Date: October 2, 2016
The rule establishes a waiting list for general vendor licenses for individuals not exempt from the licensing requirement; specifies the procedure for DCA to notify individuals of the existence of the waiting list and the manner in which a position on the list may be requested; specifies the system by which prospective applicants will be assigned ranks on the waiting list; and specifies the procedures pursuant to which DCA will notify prospective applicants of their eligibility to submit general vendor applications.

 

Amendment of Mass Transit Benefit Rules

Rule Effective Date: September 7, 2016
These rules define the penalties to be imposed when the department finds a violation of the Mass Transit Benefits Law and provide guidance to employers about recordkeeping requirements and the right to cure violations.

 

Local Law for DCA to Provide Outreach and Education on Consumer Protection Issues that Affect Immigrants

Law Effective Date: August 31, 2016
This bill would require DCA to provide information to immigrants on consumer protection issues, including: financial institutions that accept IDNYC or ITIN; risks of non-bank financial institutions; state and local laws that regulate employment and immigration assistance services; federal and state laws regulating tax preparers; and information on local institutions that provide resources to immigrant communities. The educational material would also include information about the DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment. The material would be made available on DCA’s website, translated into the six most common LEP languages, and submitted to the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

 

Local Law for DCA to Provide Outreach and Education on Consumer Protection Issues that Affect Seniors

Law Effective Date: August 31, 2016
This bill would require the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to establish and engage in outreach and educational efforts around consumer protection issues relevant to individuals sixty years of age and older. This outreach would include information about such issues as telemarketing and internet fraud, Social Security, Medicare and healthcare fraud, reverse mortgage products, and investment schemes. DCA would be required to post this information on its website and provide it to the Department for the Aging (DFTA). The bill would further require DFTA to ensure that materials created as part of this initiative are made available at all senior centers and naturally occurring retirement communities in the city.

 

Local Law for DCA to Provide Outreach and Education on Consumer Protection Issues that Affect Women

Law Effective Date: August 31, 2016
This bill would require DCA to establish and implement an outreach and education program for women on consumer protection issues. These issues include: short- and long- term financial independence, including retirement; navigating public benefits programs; gender-based pricing; and common scams and predatory consumer and financial products. The educational material would also include information about the DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment. The material would be made available on DCA’s website, translated into the six most common LEP languages, and submitted to the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues and the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence.

 

Adjudicatory Proceedings and Penalties

Rule Effective Date: August 22, 2016
These rules repeal the procedural rules that governed the Department’s administrative tribunal, clarify provisions in the Executive Order and provide guidance to those who want to settle their violations before appearing at OATH.

 

Unlawful Tax Collection

Rules Effective Date: August 6, 2016
Section 2203 of Chapter 64 of the Charter of the City of New York authorizes the Commissioner to enforce laws prohibiting deceptive trade practices, and, upon notice and hearing, to impose civil penalties for the violation of such laws. Section 2203(h)(3) provides that no act or practice shall be deemed a deceptive trade practice unless it has been declared as such, and described with reasonable particularity in a law or rule promulgated by the Commissioner.

Pursuant to Title 20 of the New York City Administrative Code, the Department regulates merchants in New York City and promulgates rules and regulations to protect consumers in the marketplace. Article 28 of the New York State Tax law specifies the categories of goods and services that are subject to sales and use taxes. The proposed rule is necessary to declare that collection of sales taxes on goods and services that are not subject to such tax laws shall be a deceptive trade practice for purposes of Section 20-701 of Subchapter 1 of Chapter 5 of Title 20 of the New York City Administrative Code.

 

Second-hand Automobiles in Public Spaces

Rule Effective Date: August 4, 2016
Section 20-268 of Title 20 of the New York City Administrative Code, entitled “Restrictions,” places restrictions on the manner in which a dealer in second-hand articles may conduct his or her business. For instance, subdivision a makes it “unlawful for any dealer in second-hand articles to carry on his or her business at any place other than the one designated in such license,” including business that is conducted in public spaces. Additionally, the Department has found that second-hand automobile dealers frequently park, store or display vehicles in public spaces, such as sidewalks and streets, which interferes with pedestrian use and creates blockage, congestion and potential safety hazards.

The rule clarifies that second-hand automobile dealers cannot park, store or display vehicles in public spaces and ensures that second-hand automobile dealers park them in a manner that is safe and does not interfere with the flow of pedestrian traffic.

 

Local Law to License Ticket Sellers

Local Law Effective Date: August 1, 2016
The bill would require that anyone selling tickets for any place of entertainment, mode of transportation, or sight-seeing tour in a public space have a ticket seller license issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

 

General Vendor Helper Rule

Rule Effective Date: June 25, 2016
New Rule allows general vendors with disabilities that impair their ability to operate a general vending business to use helpers as long as they obtain authorization from the Department

 

Prevailing Wage Rules for Building Service Employees

Rules Effective Date: June 23, 2016
Section 6-130 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York (the Prevailing Wage Law), added by Local Law 27 of 2012, requires certain developers receiving City financial assistance and certain lessors leasing commercial office space or commercial office facilities to the City to pay their building service employees the prevailing wage. These rules clarify provisions in the Prevailing Wage Law, establish requirements to implement the law and meet its goals, and provide guidance to employers and employees.

 

Local Law to Repeal Licensing of Motion Picture Projectionists

Law Effective Date: June 5, 2016
This law eliminates the requirement that a person must first secure a license from DCA before operating a motion picture projection machine.

 

Pregnancy Services Centers Disclosures Rule

Rule Effective Date: May 27, 2016
The rules:

  • Clarify the meanings of the following terms: “services”, “directly provide”, “directly supervise”, “social media site”, and “social network site”.
  • Clarify which facilities are excluded from the definition of “pregnancy services center”.
  • Specify the language of the disclosure, and set forth the size, color and location of the signs required to be posted at the pregnancy services center and in advertisements promoting the services of the pregnancy services center.
  • Specify the language of the disclosure that must be made orally.
  • Clarify that a facility’s distribution of a pregnancy test kit shall not, by itself, be sufficient to establish that it has the “appearance of a licensed medical facility,” provided that the test is self- administered, self-diagnosed, and self-interpreted.

 

Local Law about Displaced Grocery Workers

Law Effective Date: May 8, 2016
This local law would require new grocery store owners to retain the previous owner’s staff for a transition period after a business is sold. Employees are to be kept by the new owner for ninety days. After the transition period, the new employer must evaluate each employee and consider keeping them as employees.

 

Second-hand Automobile Price Display

Rule Effective Date: April 22, 2016
Local Law 44 of 2015 amended Section 20-271 of Title 20 of the New York City Administrative Code to require secondhand dealers in automobiles operating in New York City to display the total selling price for each automobile offered for sale and the price of specified add-on products and to disclose that the purchase of add-on products is optional.

Section 20-270 of the New York City Administrative Code requires dealers who sell both secondhand and new items to post a sign to that effect. Section 20-271, as amended by Local Law 44, requires such dealers to label secondhand articles to inform the public that the items are not new. Currently, the laws and rules applicable to secondhand dealers in automobiles do not specify the language that may be used in the total selling price signs, or the requirements for posting the signs. The rule would provide examples of language that may be used to describe automobiles, products and parts that are not new.

 

General Vendor Transfer Rule

Rule Effective Date: April 5, 2016
New Rule sets forth the standards for the general transfer of a general vending license to the spouse, children or guardian of minor children of the general vendor upon the vendor’s death or disability.

 

Amendment of Earned Sick Time Rules

Rules Effective Date: March 4, 2016
These rules clarify parts of the Earned Sick Time Act, establish requirements to carry it out and meet its goals pursuant to authority delegated to the Department of Consumer Affairs by the Act, and providing guidance to covered employers and protected employees.

 

NYC's Commuter Benefits Law 

Law Effective Date: January 1, 2016
Beginning January 1, 2016, for-profit and nonprofit employers with 20 or more full-time non-union employees in New York City must offer their full-time employees the opportunity to use pre-tax income to pay for their commute.

 


2015

K2 Enforcement

Law Effective Date: December 19, 2015
The new laws provide the City with additional tools and penalties to reduce the sale and manufacture of K2. Local Law 97 of 2015 criminalizes the manufacture, possession with intent to sell, and sale of synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic phenethylamines. Selling K2 will be a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. Local Law 96 allows the City to apply public nuisance regulations to violations of the new criminal provision barring the sale of K2 – which gives the City additional enforcement tools. Local Law 95 allows the City to revoke, suspend or refuse to renew a cigarette dealer license due to the sale of synthetic drugs or imitation synthetic drugs.

 

Unlicensed Activity Rule

Rule Effective Date: October 18, 2015
The rule is necessary to establish that if the Department, on notice of violation, charges a business or individual with engaging in unlicensed activity, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the unlicensed activity continued every day, without interruption, from the first date of unlicensed activity identified by the Department in the notice through the date of the hearing. The rule will effectuate the legislative intent behind imposing a fine of $100 per day for unlicensed activity without requiring the Department to inspect a business or individual each and every day, which is impracticable.

 

Air Conditioning

Law Effective Date: October 7, 2015
This law expands to small stores (retail or wholesale establishments under four thousand square feet) the prohibition against propping open outside doors while an air conditioner or central cooling system is operating. It would also require that stores which are part of a chain post a notice on each door stating that violations may be reported to 311.

 

Sidewalk Café Insurance Rule

Rule Effective Date: October 2, 2015
This rule is amended to clarify the insurance requirements and bring them, including by raising the minimum amounts of coverage, into conformity with city-wide standards.

 

Secondhand Auto Dealer Price Displays

Law Effective Date: September 15, 2015
This law requires dealers in second-hand automobiles to clearly post the total selling price of each second-hand automobile at his or her place of business and the total selling price of any add-on product by means of a sign at the point of display of the second-hand automobile or at each location within the dealer's place of business where any such product is offered for sale.

 

Gas Station Signage

Law Effective Date: Enacted September 2, 2015; effective after 180 days with rulemaking
Local Law 79 of 2015 clarifies the requirements for price displays at gas stations that advertise to vehicles on the road. If such signs are posted, they must display the price, defined as the sum of the basic price per gallon plus all applicable taxes, of at least the lowest grade of gasoline offered for sale. This law would also permit the use of LED signs. Local Law 80 requires gas stations that sell gasoline at a lower price for purchases made in cash or other specific form of payment to clearly disclose that the advertised price is available only for purchases made in cash or such other specific forms of payment. The law would also set a minimum size for gas station road signs.

 

Used Car Buyer's Guide Rule

Rule Effective Date: July 12, 2015
This rule requires used car dealers to prominently display the Buyer's Guide required by the Federal Trade Commission before offering any used automobile for sale. The rule makes a seller's failure to display the Buyer's Guide a deceptive trade practice for purposes of Section 20-701 of the Administrative Code.

 

Car Wash Accountability Act

Read Information for Car Washes.

 

Business Education Days

Law Effective Date: June 29, 2015
Local Law 68 of 2015 requires DCA to hold multiple business education events each year throughout the five boroughs. Local Law 69 requires DCA to issue an annual report analyzing the violations dismissed by its tribunal.

 

Home Improvement Business Trust Fund Rule

Rule Effective Date: June 19, 2015
Rule increases the limit from $20,000 to $25,000 on the amount that Department can pay out from the Fund for all awards, fines and judgments arising out of a single home improvement contract.

 

Outreach and Education on Consumer Protection Issues for Young Adults

Law Effective Date: March 30, 2015
This law requires the Department of Consumer Affairs to provide young adults with outreach and education regarding consumer protection issues.

 


2014

NYC's Paid Sick Leave Law 

Laws Effective Date: April 1, 2014
Rule Effective Date: July 30, 2014
Under New York City's Earned Sick Time Act (Paid Sick Leave Law), certain employers must give their employees sick leave.

 

Sidewalk Café Legislative Changes 

Laws Effective Date: April 29, 2014
Rule Effective Date: August 28, 2014
New changes to sidewalk café legislation include lengthening the term of a renewed revocable consent to operate a sidewalk cafe from two years to four years; and streamlining the process for reviewing a petition for a revocable consent.

 

Cure Law

Law Effective Date: June 30, 2014
Rule Effective Date: July 11, 2014
Under this law, a business can certify that it has cured (corrected) first-time, signage-related violations and settle the violations without penalty. In order to pay no penalty for curable violations, a business must plead guilty to the violation, correct the violation within 30 days of the inspection date, and submit a Cure Certification to DCA as proof that the business has cured the violation. Visit the Forms, Signs & Templates page (links to Businesses_Inspections_FormsSignsTemplates.docx) to print required signs.

 

Smoking Laws

Local Law 94 of 2013:  Tobacco 21
Law Effective Date: May 18, 2014
This law raises the age that tobacco products can be sold to from 18 to 21 and establishes a sales age of twenty-one years for electronic cigarettes.


Local Law 97 of 2013: Sensible Tobacco Enforcement
Law Effective Date: March 19, 2014
This law establishes price floors, bans discounts and imposes packaging requirements on cigarettes and other tobacco products. Includes various measures to keep the price of cigarettes and tobacco products high. Cigarette retail dealers must also post the Age Restriction and NYC/NYS Tax Stamp signs. For more information, visit DOHMH's Smoking Legislation page.

 

Recordkeeping Requirements for Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers

Law Effective Date: April 29, 2014

Language Preference Law

Law Effective Date: April 16, 2014
This law provides business owners the ability to choose what language they want agency inspections conducted in.