UPDATE: Executive Order 202.8 can be read here. In addition to closing workplaces to non-essential employees, the order:
- Tolls state court litigation deadlines until April 19, 2020
- Suspends Department of Motor Vehicles related deadlines until April 19, 2020
- Tolls shareholder meeting-related deadlines until April 19, 2020
- Tolls residential and commercial eviction enforcement for 90 days
- Abates late fines and penalties related to filings due on or before March 20.
At a press conference this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a forthcoming executive order placing further restrictions on New Yorkers’ daily life. The order will be effective as of Sunday. Per the New York Times, relevant employment-related provisions include:
- Businesses considered nonessential must keep all of their workforce at home, which effectively means that if the business depends on a physical location, it must close.
- Essential businesses that can remain open include: grocers and restaurants, health care providers, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, banks, hardware stores, laundromats and cleaners, child-care providers, auto repair, utilities, warehouses and distributors, plumbers and other skilled contractors, animal-care providers, transportation providers, construction companies, and many kinds of manufacturers.
- Any businesses violating the order would be fined and forced to close. The state does not plan to fine individuals who violated the regulations, Mr. Cuomo said.
Per the Governor’s March 7, 2020 Executive Order, essential businesses include:
- essential health care operations including research and laboratory services;
- essential infrastructure including utilities, telecommunication, airports and transportation infrastructure;
- essential manufacturing, including food processing and pharmaceuticals;
- essential retail including grocery stores and pharmacies;
- essential services including trash collection, mail, and shipping services;
- news media; banks and related financial institutions;
- providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations;
- vendors of essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses;
- vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.
The Empire State Development Corporation has promulgated more detailed guidance concerning “essential businesses” here.
If you are an employer unsure whether or not your business is essential, please contact us. In any event, we recommend you transition your business to telework – and more importantly, stay home – wherever possible.