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.


Laws

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2021

 

Displaced Hotel Service Workers and Hotel Service Disruption Notifications

Law Effective Date: January 26, 2021
A Local Law to establish protections for displaced hotel service workers in the event of a change in control of a hotel, such as a sale or bankruptcy.

 

2020

 

Requiring City Employers to Provide Earned Safe and Sick Time to Employees

Law Effective Date: September 30, 2020
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring city employers to provide earned safe and sick time to employees.

 

Changing the name of the Department of Consumer Affairs to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection

Law Effective Date: August 28, 2020
A Local Law to amend the New York City Charter and Administrative Code to change the name of the Department of Consumer Affairs to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, establish the Office of Labor Standards and the Division of Paid Care as offices within the Department, and update references to these offices and other agency nomenclature. The bill also clarifies the Department’s powers to seek restitution on behalf of consumers and workers related to any law within its jurisdiction. It also designates the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearing as the tribunal in which the Department may begin proceedings to recover civil penalties and grants the Commissioner the power to adopt, reverse, modify, or remand OATH trial decisions for additional proceedings. Finally, the bill repeals the Consumers Council established under §2204 of the New York City Charter and the Tow Advisory Board.

 

Lead Package

Law Effective Date: August 9, 2020
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to investigations of lead-based paint hazards by independent and certified inspectors, and contractor certifications for construction activities that disturb lead-based paint, and to repeal subdivision 9 of section 20-386 and subdivision 15 of section 20-393 of such administrative code, relating to salespersons for home improvement businesses.

 

2019

 

Requiring that bail bond agents make certain disclosures

Law Effective Date: February 2, 2019
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring that bail bond agents make certain disclosures. This bill would provide to consumers of bail bond businesses and bail bond referral businesses information regarding their rights and basic information about the businesses themselves. Many bail bond businesses engage in unscrupulous business practices, and this bill would arm consumers with information, in multiple languages, so that they can avoid being taken advantage of.

 

Disclosure of premium or compensation charged by bail bond agents

Law Effective Date: February 2, 2019
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to disclosure of premium or compensation charged by bail bond agents. This bill would set up a complaint mechanism at the Department of Consumer Affairs for consumers of bail bond services to report violations of the maximum allowed bail bond premiums set by the New York Insurance Law. It would also require the Department to refer those violations to the Police Department for enforcement.

2018

Earned Sick and Safe Time Act

Law Effective Date: May 5, 2018
A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to safe time for victims of family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking and human trafficking, and their family members.

 

Conversion Therapy Prohibition

Law Effective Date: April 30, 2018
This bill would prohibit any person from charging consumers for services intended to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

Repealing Cabaret Law

Law Effective Date: March 27, 2018
This bill repeals the requirement in the Administrative Code for public dance halls, cabarets, and catering establishments to obtain a license, but retains various security measures in the law. Establishments previously required to obtain a cabaret license must continue to abide by requirements 1) to install and maintain security cameras and, 2) if they employ security guards, to ensure such security guards are licensed pursuant to state law and to maintain a roster of such security guards.

 

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.

 

2017

 

Fair Workweek

Law Effective Date: November 26, 2017
Rule Effective Date: November 28, 2017

  • Establishing General Provisions Governing Fair Work Practices.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
  • Rule Related to the Implementation of the Fair Workweek Law.
  • Read 05/30/2017 press release: Mayor de Blasio Signs Legislation to Better Promote Safety, Fairness and Transparency for All New Yorkers

 

Pay Deductions Law

Law Effective Date: November 26, 2017
Rule Effective Date: November 28, 2017

 

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.

 

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.

2016

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.


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.

Rules


2020

Repeal of Requirements for Home Improvement Salespersons

Law Effective Date: December 31, 2020
Notice of Adoption to repeal all references to the home improvement salesperson license.

 

Tobacco and Electronic Retail Dealer Penalty Schedules

Law Effective Date: December 5, 2020
Notice of Adoption to amend the Department’s penalty schedules related to tobacco retail dealers and electronic cigarette retail dealers to incorporate recent changes made to New York State law.

 

New Rules Regarding Prohibition on Cashless Establishments

Rule Effective Date: November 19, 2020
Notice of Adoption to add new rules to implement Local Law 34 of 2020 (LL 34), which prohibits food stores and retail establishments from refusing to accept payment in cash.

 

Adopted Rules Regarding Stoop Line Stands

Rule Effective Date: October 29, 2020
Notice of Adoption to amend the rules governing stoop line stands to clarify the construction requirements for a stoop line stand and clarify the activities that are prohibited on a stoop line stand, among other things.

 

New Rules for Debt Collectors

Rule Effective Date: June 27, 2020
Notice of Adoption to add new rules requiring debt collectors to inform consumers about whether certain language access services are available and to retain records relating to language access services.

 

Emergency Price Gouging Rule

Rule Effective Date: June 26, 2020
The Rule makes price gouging illegal for any products or services essential to health, safety and welfare during a declared state of emergency.

 

Amendment of Rules Governing Process Server Audits

Rule Effective Date: June 10, 2020
The Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) is amending the rules governing process servers to implement Local Law 112 of 2019, which requires the Department to conduct audits of certain process servers and creates a notification system for, among other things, suspensions and revocations of, and denials of applications for, process server licenses.

 

Amendment of Consumer Protection Law Penalty Schedule

Rule Effective Date: June 10, 2020
Notice of Adoption to amend the Department of Consumer Affairs’s (“DCA” or “Department”) consumer protection law penalty schedule to add entries for some violations currently missing from the penalty schedule, including for violations of section 5-38 of chapter 5 of title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York, which requires sellers to comply with certain requirements when selling goods declared to be temporarily in short supply, and to add language to provide for maximum penalties of $500 in the event of a knowing violation of the consumer protection law code and rules.

 

Amendment to Rules relating to License Enforcement

Rule Effective Date: March 25, 2020
Notice of Adoption to amend to chapter 1 of title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York, which relate to DCA’s licensing authority and enforcement. Among other things, these amendments prohibit licensees from altering or falsifying DCA-related documents, require licensees to post license numbers on electronic advertisements and solicitations in addition to printed ones, and clarify the requirements relating to DCA’s issuance of notices of hearing, requests for documents, interrogatories, and notices of deposition. In addition, these amendments update the penalty schedule for chapter 1 violations.

 

Amendment of Penalty Schedule

Rule Effective Date: March 21, 2020
Notice of Adoption to amend the Department of Consumer Affairs’ (“DCA” or “Department”) penalty schedules, including those related to electronic cigarette retail dealers, sidewalk stands, electronic stores, etching acid, motorized scooters, employment agencies, air conditioning prohibitions, and bail bond agents.

 

Emergency Rule Prohibiting Price Gouging of Certain Personal and Household Goods and Services

Rule Effective Date: March 16, 2020
The Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) is adopting an emergency rule declaring as unconscionable the practice of price gouging with regard to personal and household goods and services that either: (a) consumers reasonably believe aid in diagnosing or monitoring disease symptoms, prevent the spread of disease, or treat disease; or (b) merchants market as aiding in diagnosing or monitoring disease symptoms, preventing the spread of disease, or treating disease. This prohibition is limited to diseases that are found to be an imminent threat to public health or safety by the City of New York or are the subject of a State of Emergency within the City of New York.

 

Rules to Clarify Obligations for Mobile Car Wash Operators

Rule Effective Date: January 28, 2020
The Department is amending title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York to clarify that mobile car wash services are subject to the license requirement for operating a car wash service. The rule sets specific application requirements for mobile car wash services as well as obligations to display licenses and keep certain records related to vehicles used for mobile car wash services. The rule also sets penalties for failure to provide the Department with updated information concerning vehicles used for mobile car wash services and failure to display the car wash license in vehicles used for mobile car wash services when the mobile car wash is in service.

 

Rules Clarifying SHAD Recordkeeping Reqiurements

Rule Effective Date: January 4, 2020
DCA is amending Section 2-109 of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York relating to the record keeping requirements for secondhand automobile dealers.