Here in the USA, it seemed to be becoming more and more common for retailers (both small and large alike) to say something like "no bills larger than $20 accepted". My question is, is this really legal? Can businesses really make such a demand? Can they reject a hundred dollar bill as a payment of debt? I understand why they want to do it but can they really get away with it?
My line of thought is that currency is printed and put in circulation so that it is easy for people to do business with instead of carrying sacks of gold or bartering with chickens and sacks of corn. The American dollar is not backed by gold anymore anyway (it has been floating freely since 1971 on currency markets). FDR actually confiscated gold coins in 1933. The USD is only backed by full faith and credit of the US government today and it is designated as legal tender in payments of debt.
I understand that if an individual doesn't want to take cash at all for a transaction, that's fine. He can rightfully do so and in that case he would reject all coins and currency. But what about for a business, especially for a large scale business like a chain with a bunch of stores doing hundreds/thousands of transactions everyday like selling burgers to the public? And it seems even stranger that they are okay with some bills like the smaller bills but they have a problem accepting $100 bills. So if I walk into a taco joint and they accept small bills and coins, can I insist that they accept my $100 bill as well?
Just to be clear, I am not asking for legal advice or anything. Its just for personal curiosity. Is it the case where this practice of accepting small bills and rejecting large bills is perfectly legal? Or is it the case where this practice may be murky and no one knows until this ends up in the Supreme Court one day? Or is it the case where retailers CAN get into trouble one day but no one has bothered to take them to courts yet and the retailers are just waiting to see how long they can get away with this practice?