NY repeals ‘archaic’ law that banned haircuts by barbers on Sunday

Local News

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Barbers in New York just might make “a shave and a haircut” their new Sunday special.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law on Tuesday that decriminalizes barbering on Sundays. The new law went into effect immediately.

Until now, the “archaic” provision in New York State’s laws made it a misdemeanor to shave another person or cut their hair on a Sunday, according to Cuomo.

“This is the very definition of an archaic and meaningless law that makes little to no sense in the 21st century,” the governor said in a statement after signing the bill repealing the provision. “While not routinely enforced, I’m more than happy to sign this repeal into law and allow these businesses to determine what days they choose to operate.”  

Frank Ribecca has worked at Astor Place Hairstylists for 20 years.

“It’s an old law. Nowadays, people want to work and especially after the pandemic,” he said.

Speedy is a popular barber at Astor Place who wants to be there whenever his clients need him.

“At the end of the day when have to pay the landlord, he doesn’t say leave out Sunday,” he said.

State Senator Joseph Griffo (R-Oneida County) sponsored the bill in the New York Senate after asking staff last year during the pandemic to review laws related to businesses. 

“Barbershops and salons, like all small businesses, have faced significant, unprecedented and strenuous challenges during the coronavirus pandemic. By removing outdated and unnecessary laws such as this, these businesses will be provided with an additional opportunity to recover financially as we work to rebuild our local and state economies,” he said  

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