A popular ice cream shop in New York City is being required to comply with the city’s Cashless Ban Law.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga announced that DCWP has entered into a settlement agreement with Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, requiring the company to comply with the law.
Under the Cashless Ban Law, New York City businesses must accept cash as a form of payment unless they have a machine that converts cash into prepaid cards. With 19 locations throughout the city, DCWP says that Van Leeuwen repeatedly refused to comply with the Cashless Ban Law since it went into effect in November 2020.
“Cash is king, which is why the Cashless Ban Law was passed to protect the unbanked and underbanked in our city,” said Mayor Adams. “We will not allow any business to take advantage of this vulnerable population or penalize customers just for wanting to use cash to pay for things. This agreement will not only ensure that those who patronize Van Leeuwen will now have the option of paying in cash, but, more importantly, it sends a clear message that those who repeatedly violate this law will be held accountable.”
According to DCWP, the department had received more complaints about Van Leeuwen for this unlawful behavior than about any other business in the city. In response to the consumer complaints, DCWP brought more than 90 cases at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) against Van Leeuwen for violations of the Cashless Ban Law.
DCWP says that when the department was preparing to pursue a court order to force the ice cream company to comply, Van Leeuwen then complied with the Cashless Ban Law at all New York City locations, and was ordered to pay $33,000 in outstanding civil penalties.
“No New Yorker should be discriminated against because they can only—or want to— pay with cash,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “While DCWP takes an education-first approach to enforcing the City’s laws, systemic and flagrant defiance will not be tolerated. This is more than just an issue of compliance with the law, it’s also an issue of equity and treating all New Yorkers fairly.”
Consumers can file a complaint about violations of the Cashless Ban Law at nyc.gov/dcwp or by calling 311.
amNewYork Metro has reached out to Van Leeuwen for comment.