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 violate 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 businesses that can cure violations before facing fines. A cure period is a window in which a business owner/operator can correct conditions that violate city regulations without being subject to fines or other penalties for their lapse. This means that New York businesses, many of whom may unintentionally violate 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 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 the Speaker describing each violation.
For any violation that does not allow corrective action before imposing a penalty, the agency must provide a rationale for why there is no cure period. The agency must explain why allowing the business to take corrective action before fining it would be inappropriate.
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, 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 must respond when notified of Building Violations & Fire Code Violations to take corrective action within the cure period. A business that is uncertain about its legal obligations or 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.
More blog Entries:
New York City Rezoning Plan Backed by Mayor, Considered by Council, October 31, 2013, New York Restaurant Lawyer Blog.