Marie Napoli on Banning Cashless Businesses in NY
March 6, 2019
Recently, New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres introduced legislation
that would prohibit retail establishments from refusing to accept payments in cash.
But the resulting exclusion of New Yorkers of color and the undocumented, based on their lack of a bank account, still counts as discrimination, according to Marie Napoli, a lawyer and civil rights advocate.
However, Napoli said the ban on cashless likely wouldn’t stand up in Supreme Court should one of the cash-free businesses choose to bring the issue to higher courts. “The clash between businesses’ right to refuse service, and other compelling interests have resulted in allowing these forms of discrimination to continue,” Napoli told CityLab.