Dear Long Point Advisors Clients, Colleagues and Friends:
I hope and trust that this email finds you and your family safe and healthy.
On March 18, 2020, Governor Cuomo declared Executive Order 202.6, the most recent executive order issued in connection with the suspension and modification of New York State laws due to the COVID-19 emergency.
Among other provisions, Executive Order 202.6 orders that all New York businesses and not-for-profit entities are required to reduce the in-person workforce at their physical locations by 50% no later than March 20 at 8 p.m. This morning, March 19th, Governor Cuomo increased the percentage to 75% of the workforce must remain off-site. These businesses and entities are also required to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work for home procedures that can be safely implemented.
Critically, the Executive Order covers non-essential business and non-essential employees. Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions in New York are not subject to in-person restrictions. The Executive Order identifies “essential” as:
- Essential health care operations including laboratory and research services;
- Essential infrastructure operations, like utilities, transportation, telecommunication and airports;
- Essential manufacturing operations, including food and pharmaceutical processing;
- Essential retail stores 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 the economically disadvantaged;
- Construction companies;
- 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, like technology support, child care and services that ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.
If a business or entity is not specified on the above list, or it is unclear whether it fits within one of these categories, the business or entity may request an opinion from the Empire State Development Corporation as to whether it may be considered essential. ESDC will review and grant the request if it determines “that it is in the best interest of the state to have the workforce continue at full capacity in order to properly respond” to this health crisis. The Executive Order directs the ESDC to respond to any requests for an opinion no later than 5 p.m. today, March 19th. As such, it is crucial that businesses or entities to request an opinion immediately. You can go to the ESDC’s webpage linked here to submit questions or request the waiver with the ESDC.