Cashless stores and dining establishments are a thing of the past in New Jersey after the state passed a new law banning the practice that critics say is classist.
Gov. Expense Murphy signed the new law Monday, requiring most brick-and-mortar stores and dining establishments in the state to accept cash. This makes New Jersey the second state to require stores and dining establishments to take a legal tender.
Massachusetts enacted a comparable law in 1978, while Philadelphia banned cashless dining establishments earlier in March.
New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres is attempting to ban cashless stores also.
While organizations may prefer cashless deals because of their ease and leave them invulnerable to cash-seeking burglars, critics say they discriminate against those who can not access debit or credit cards.
“Many individuals do not have access to customer credit, and any effort by retail facilities to ban making use of money is prejudiced towards those individuals,” Democratic state Assemblyman Paul Moriarty stated in a statement.
A national FDIC study discovered 6.5% of all U.S. households did not have an account at a banking institution. Black families (16.9%) and Latino households (14%) were impacted at a much higher rate.
Web, mail, and phone orders are exempt to the brand-new law, which works right away.
Automobile rental business, parking lot and some airport retail shops are excluded, as well.
“I’m pleased we are now the second state in the country that will now make it clear that the U.S. dollar is legal tender and that retail establishments should accept it or face the consequences,” Moriarty said, referring to a similar law adopted by Massachusetts in 1978.
The new law “removes a business owners’ right to freely determine how they would like to receive payment,” according to The New Jersey Business & Industry Association
Legislation banning cashless stores has been introduced in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.