Executive Director and General Counsel
As many of you know, the New York Empire State Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development published amended Interpretive Guidance today for determining whether a business enterprise is “essential,” and thus, excluded and exempt from the one-hundred (100%) percent in-person workforce reduction mandate set forth in Executive Order 202.6, as modified.
The Interpretive Guidance, as amended, significantly modifies and narrows the scope of construction that is now considered “essential,” and thus, may continue to operate despite the governor’s 100% in-person workforce reduction mandate.
In essence, the Interpretive Guidance seems to separate construction work into four distinct categories, as follows
Please be aware that “essential construction” sites and “emergency non-essential” construction sites that cannot maintain recommended “social distanc[ing] and safety best practices” will be subject to closure and fines of up to $10,000 per violation by the state in coordination with city and local governments.
The Interpretive Guidance by its express terms does not indicate an effective date. However, since the Interpretive Guidance is intended to modify and amend Executive Order 202.6, as amended, which is already in effect, it can only be presumed the Interpretive Guidance is meant to take effect immediately.
The Interpretive Guidance leaves a lot to be desired; it is certainly not the most artfully drafted piece of guidance we have ever seen come out of Albany. We will continue to keep you apprised of any additional developments that may bring this flawed Interpretive Guidance into sharper focus.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any questions or wish to discuss.