Businesses in New York face a variety of Building Violations & Fire Code Violations enforced by different city agencies, including the Department of Buildings (DOB), the Environmental Control Board, and the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). When a business is found to be in violation of any regulation, the business can face fines and other penalties.
Now, however, new Cure Period Regulatory Reform legislation is expected to pass. Our New York City Business Lawyers know that this new legislation will save small businesses substantial penalties. Both New York City restaurant owners and New York City nightlife operators have been strong advocates of the new legislation and their efforts have helped facilitate the passage of this important new regulatory rule. Restaurant violations comprise a large percentage of these curable violations.
When the new Cure Period Regulatory Reform legislation passes, it will be good news for business who can cure violations before facing fines. A cure period is a window of time in which a business owner/operator can correct conditions that are in violation of city regulations without being subject to a fine or other penalties for their lapse. This means that New York businesses, many of whom may be unintentionally in violation of one of the thousands of city regulations, can now avoid being hit with fees and penalties as long as they correct the problem within the identified cure period.
A total of 25 percent of the violations issued by the different city agencies in New York will now have a Cure Period put into effect. Each of the different agencies, including the Health Department and the Department of Consumer Affairs, will review current laws and regulations that they are in charge of enforcing and for which they currently issue a fine or impose a penalty for violating. The agencies will submit a report to the Mayor and to the Speaker providing a description of each of the violations.
For any violation that does not have a cure period allowing for corrective action before imposing a penalty, the agency must provide a rationale for why there is no cure period. The agency must explain why it would be inappropriate to allow the business to take corrective action before fining it.
Cure Periods Can Help Businesses avoid Penalties when facing Building Violations & Fire Code Violations
This has the potential to be a much fairer system for business owners. Most businesses try to follow the rules and remain in compliance, and should not be penalized for honest mistakes that run afoul of agency requirements. The cure period allows agencies to ensure that businesses follow standards and remain up to code without being unnecessarily punitive.
Businesses will need to respond when notified of Building Violations & Fire Code Violations to take corrective action within the cure period. A business that is uncertain as to its legal obligations or that believes it should not be considered in violation of regulations also has time to consult with legal professionals for advice.
The Wright Law Firm is a business law firm located in Midtown Manhattan. Call (212) 619-1500 for a confidential consultation.
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New York City Rezoning Plan Backed by Mayor, Considered by Council, October 31, 2013, New York Restaurant Lawyer Blog.