Friday evening, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued his thirtieth Executive Order during this state of emergency. Executive Order 202.29 modifies one New York law to address matters related to the COVID-19 crisis. Executive Order 202.29 is effective from May 8, 2020 through June 7, 2020. A copy of Executive Order 202.29 can be found here.
EXTENSION OF PREVIOUS DIRECTIVES
Executive Order 202.29 does not issue any new directives. This Executive Order, however, continues the suspensions and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive, made by Executive Orders 202.15, 202.16, 202.17, 202.18, 202.19, 202.20, and 202.21, for thirty days until June 7, 2020. Some notable suspensions and modifications of law and directives contained in those Executive Orders that have been extended until June 7, 2020, include:
- Allowing the NYS Tax Department is authorized to accept digital signatures in lieu of handwritten signatures on documents related to the determination or collection of tax liability. Executive Order 202.15;
- Allowing individuals, who graduated from registered or accredited medical programs located in New York in 2020, to practice medicine in New York, without the need to obtain a license and without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of licensure, provided that the practice of medicine by such graduates shall in all cases be supervised by a physician licensed and registered to practice medicine in New York. Executive Order 202.15;
- Permitting manufacturers, repackers, or wholesalers of prescription drugs or devices, physically located outside of New York and not registered in New York, but licensed and/or registered in any other state, to deliver into New York, prescription drugs or devices. Executive Order 202.15;
- Requiring employees who are present in an essential businesses’ workplace to wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public and that employers must provide, at their own cost and expense, the face coverings for their employees. Executive Order 202.16
- Suspending and modifying provisions of certain laws that could otherwise create a landlord tenant relationship between any individual assisting with the response to COVID-19 or any individual that has been displaced due to COVID-19, and any individual or entity, including but not limited to any hotel owner, hospital, not-for-profit housing provider, hospital, or any other temporary housing provider who provides temporary housing for a period of thirty days or more solely for purposes of assisting in the response to COVD-19. Executive Order 202.16;
- Requiring an individual to cover his or her nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance. Executive Order 202.17
- Allowing registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, radiological technologists, licensed master social workers, licensed clinical social workers or a substantially similar title licensed and in current good standing in any province or territory of Canada, to practice in New York State without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of licensure. Executive Order 202.18;
- Allowing physicians licensed and in current good standing in any province or territory of Canada, to practice medicine in New York State without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of licensure. Executive Order 202.18;
- Allowing clinical nurse specialists, specialist assistants, and substantially similar titles certified and in current good standing in any state in the United States, or any province or territory of Canada, to practice in New York State without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of certification. Executive Order 202.18;
- Allowing specialist assistants, respiratory therapists, respiratory therapist technicians, pharmacists, clinical nurse specialists, dentists, dental hygienists, registered dental assistants, midwives, perfusionists, clinical laboratory technologists, cytotechnologists, certified clinical laboratory technicians, certified histological technicians, licensed clinical social workers, licensed master social workers, podiatrists, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, creative arts therapists, psychoanalysts and psychologists who have an unencumbered license and are currently in good standing in New York State but not registered in New York State to practice in New York State without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of registration. Executive Order 202.18;
- Waiving the 15 day waiting period in which a service retirement application must be on file before it becomes effective, which suspension shall be deemed to have been in effect on and after the issuance of Executive Order 202, and shall enable any member who has died due to COVID-19 after March 7, 2020 while an application was on file, but not yet effective, shall be entitled to retirement benefits due to them pursuant to this suspension. Executive Order 202.18;
- Obligating that any skilled nursing facility, nursing home, or adult care facility licensed and regulated by the Health Commissioner to notify family members or next of kin if any resident tests positive for COVID-19, or if any resident suffers a COVID-19 related death, within 24 hours of such positive test result or death. Further providing that the non-compliance of such directive shall result in a penalty of $2,000 per violation per day, as if it were a violation of section 12 of New York State’s Public Health Law, and any subsequent violation shall be punishable as if it is a violation of section 12-b of the Public Health Law. Executive Order 202.19; and
- Permitting wedding ceremonies and related marriage services to be performed utilizing audio-video technology. Executive Orders 202.20 and 202.21
Executive Order 202.29 extends the time an individual can seek relief under New York State’s Child Victims Act by modifying Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”) section 214-g. The Child Victims Act, among other things, allows adults who were previously abused as children to commence a legal action based on such abuse even if the original statute of limitations to file such claim had previously expired. The so-called “look-back” window set out in CPLR §214-g, however, is limited in nature. It requires all such “look-back” lawsuits be commenced no later than one year and six months after the effective date of CPLR §214-g or be barred from doing so. Accordingly, the last day to commence an action in this look-back window is August 14, 2020.
The limited access to the New York Court system as a result the COVID-19 pandemic has created a concern that persons seeking to revive a time-barred civil action for child sex abuse would be unable to do so before the August 14, 2020 deadline. Pursuant to Executive Order 202.29, Governor Cuomo has modified CPLR §214-g to allow an action for a time-barred sex abuse claim be commenced not later than one year and eleven months after the effective date of CPLR §214-g, thus adding five months to the time to seek relief on previously barred actions. Now, the deadline to commence such a lawsuit is January 14, 2021.