As many of you are aware, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late morning yesterday, March 18, his intention to restrict most businesses to having only fifty (50%) percent of their employees physically at work; provided, however, that “essential” businesses would be exempt from such requirement. Accordingly, yesterday evening at 10:30 p.m., Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.6, which provides, in pertinent part, as follows:
- All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize;
- Each employer in the state shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by fifty (50%) percent no later than March 20, 2020, at 8 p.m.; and
- Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions shall not be subject to these in-person restrictions, including construction; essential infrastructure including utilities, telecommunication, airports and transportation infrastructure; essential health care operations including research and laboratory services; 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; and 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.
Earlier this afternoon at 1:15 p.m., Governor Cuomo’s office issued a press release announcing the governor has signed a new executive order mandating businesses that rely on in-office personnel to decrease their in-office workforce by seventy (75%) percent; provided, however, that “essential” businesses will be exempt from such requirement. We will share this new executive order with you as soon as it is available, with a particular eye on what is meant by the phrase “businesses that rely on in-office personnel” and whether the definition of exempt “essential” services will mirror the definition contained in Executive Order 202.6 above.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Steve Davi directly if you have any questions or wish to discuss.