I hope and trust that you had an enjoyable weekend with loved ones and your Monday has gotten off to a good start. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been on a bit of a rollover the past few days as he has issued his third Executive Order in the past four days.
Monday morning, Governor Cuomo posted Executive Order 202.13, his fourteenth Executive Order during this state of emergency. This Executive Order, issued Sunday night, is like previously issued Executive Orders, whereby Governor Cuomo modifies or suspends several New York statutes, laws, codes, rules and regulations as well as sets forth several directives, all of which are designed to combat the COVID-19 crisis.
Governor Cuomo utilizes Executive Order 202.13 to issue several new directives designed to stem the COVID-19 virus throughout New York State. The directives not only modify previous provisions contained in Executive Orders concerning in-person work restrictions, social distancing and capacity limitations but also set out new efforts designed to limit contact among New Yorkers.
Workforce and Worksite Restrictions
- Executive Order 202.6 (which was the first order to categorize what types of businesses and services were “essential” under COVID-19) is now modified to clarify that “construction” which was an essential service not subject to the in-person work restrictions is modified to provide only certain construction is considered exempt from the in-person restrictions as of March 28, 2020. Empire State Development Corporation is authorized as of March 27, 2020 to determine which construction projects shall be essential and thereby exempt from the in-person workforce prohibition contained in Executive Order 202.6 and other subsequent. All continuing construction projects shall utilize best practices to avoid transmission of COVID-19. ESD has issued revise guidance as of March 27 which laid out the types of construction that is now essential.
- All Executive Orders that closed or otherwise restricted public or private businesses or places of public accommodation (i.e. Executive Orders 202.3, 202.4, 202.5, 202.6, 202.7, 202.8, 202.10, 202.11) shall be continued, provided that the expiration dates of such Executive Orders shall be aligned so all in-person business restrictions contained in these Executive Orders will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 15, 2020, unless extended by future Executive Orders.
- Any worker who is employed by the state of New York, shall, if deemed non-essential by their agency, work from home or be able to stay home without charging their accruals until April 16, 2020.
- The previous directive contained in Executive Order 202.12 permitting a support person for a patient giving birth is modified to cover labor, delivery as well as the immediate postpartum period.
Banking and Finance
- All instruments that are signed and delivered to the superintendent under the New York Banking Law, and are required to be verified or acknowledged under such law, may be verified or acknowledged by including standard verification or acknowledgement language in the instrument and transmitting a legible copy of the signed instrument by fax or electronic means.
- Any school board, library board, or village election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is hereby postponed until at least June 1, 2020, and subject to further directive as to the timing, location or manner of voting for such elections.
- The special election in the City of New York to fill the vacancy in the Office of Borough President of Queens is rescheduled for June 23, 2020. Only candidates who were eligible to appear on the ballot for the March 24, 2020 special election shall appear on the ballot for the June 23, 2020 special election.
- Any special election which was previously scheduled to occur on April 28, 2020 and rescheduled for June 23, 2020 by virtue of Executive Order 202.12 shall only contain the names of those individuals who had previously been qualified to appear on the ballot on April 28, 2020. This covers a special election for a U.S. Congressional seat in upstate New York as well as special elections for Assembly seats in Suffolk County, Queens and Rochester.
- Circulation, filing, and collection of any designating petitions, or independent nominating petitions for any office that would otherwise be circulated or filed pursuant to the Election Law, Education Law or any other consolidated law for any office commencing March 31, 2020 are hereby postponed.
SUSPENDED OR MODIFIED LAWS
As with prior Executive Orders, Executive Order 202.13 also suspends or modifies certain laws, codes, rules and regulations to aid in New York’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis. The Executive Order, by modifying or suspending the applicable laws, codes, rules and regulations, to the extent necessary:
Health Care Services and Medical Supplies
- Allows for the provision of certain services for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities to certified settings provided, however, that use of such settings shall require the approval of the commissioner of Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (“OPWDD”). Interestingly, this modification of law was previously provided in Executive Order 202.11.
- Allows current employees of OPWDD or OPWDD approved providers, Office of Children and Family Services (“OCFS”) licensed or certified programs, Office of Addiction Services and Support (“OASAS”) certified, funded or authorized programs, Office of Mental Health (“OMH”) or OMH licensed, funded or approved programs who have previously undergone such background checks to be employed by a different OPWDD approved provider and/or OCFS licensed or certified program and/or OASAS certified, funded or authorized program and/or OMH licensed, funded or approved program without undergoing new background checks. The application New York law, statutes, rules and regulations have also been waived to the extent necessary to allow providers the discretion to permit already qualified individuals and who are not listed on the Staff Exclusion List to work unsupervised while an updated background check is completed.
Insurance and Banking Matters
- Extends the grace period for the payment of premiums and fees to 90 days for any life insurance policyholder or fraternal benefit society certificate holder, as those terms are used in the applicable Insurance Law sections, facing a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Imposes a moratorium on an insurer cancelling, non-renewing, or conditionally renewing any insurance policy issued to an individual or small business, or, in the case of a group insurance policy, insuring certificate holders that are individuals or small businesses, for a period of 60 days, for any policyholder, or in the case of a group insurance policy, group policyholder or certificate holder, facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For purposes of Executive Order 202.13, a small business shall mean any business that is resident in this State, is independently owned shall also apply to the following insurance set forth in 1113(a) of the Insurance Law:
- Fidelity and Surety Insurance — Insurance Law 1113(a)(16);
- Credit Insurance — Insurance Law 1113(a)(17);
- Marine and Inland Marine Insurance — Insurance Law 1113(a)(20);
- Marine Protection and Indemnity Insurance — Insurance Law 1113(a)(21);
- Credit Unemployment Insurance — Insurance Law 1113(a)(24);
- Gap Insurance — Insurance Law 1113(a)(26); and
- Involuntary Unemployment Insurance – Insurance Law 1113(a)(30);
- Provides a life insurance policyholder or annuity contract holder or a certificate holder, as those terms are used in the applicable Insurance Law sections, under a group policy or contract with 90 days to exercise rights or benefits under the applicable life insurance policy or annuity contract for any policyholder or contract holder or certificate holder under the group policy or contract who is unable timely to exercise rights or benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- Grants the Superintendent of Financial Services the authority to promulgate an emergency regulation to apply the provisions of the Executive Order relevant to policy cancellations, to premium finance agencies (as defined in Article XII-B of the Banking Law), subject to the safety and soundness considerations of the premium finance agencies.
Other Statutory Modifications
- Allows New York school districts to pay for the cost of childcare services that a school district is providing on its buildings, property or grounds.
- Modifies the requirement that a proclamation be separately issued by the Governor for an election to fill a vacancy.
The copy of Executive Order 202.13 that accompanies this email specifically identifies the applicable laws impacted under these provisions.