Governor Cuomo’s latest density-mitigation Executive Order has been made publically available. In addition to the mandate that all employees of non-essential businesses stay home effective tonight at 8:00 p.m., the Order requires all businesses to utilize telecommuting or remote procedures to the maximum extent safely possible. In addition, the Order provides that, through April 19, 2020:
In addition, the Order: (i) provides that there shall be no residential or commercial evictions or foreclosures for a period of ninety days and (ii) expands the authority of the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance to abate late filing and payment penalties pursuant to section 1145 of the Tax Law, granting the Commissioner the ability to authorize abatement of interest, for a period of 60 days for taxpayers who are required to file returns and remit sales and use taxes by Mach 20, 2020, for the sales tax quarterly period that ended February 29, 2020.
Further, on March 21, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.9, temporarily modifying the Banking Law and empowering the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services to promulgate emergency regulations relating to the outbreak of COVID-19. Click here for our analysis of New York State’s relief efforts in connection with Banking and Financial Services.
Also, the Governor has announced “Matilda’s Law” – named for his mother – to protect New York’s most vulnerable populations, including individuals age 70 and older and those with compromised immune systems or underlying illnesses. The measure, which has not yet been reduced to Executive Order or otherwise, requires this group of New Yorkers to stay home and limit home visitation to immediate family members or close friends in need of emergency assistance and sets forth specific directions for visitors. Click here for the Governor’s press release concerning Matilda’s Law. Click here for a summary of Matilda’s Law provided by New York’s coronavirus webpage.
We are monitoring this very fluid situation in New York and will provide updates for the industry as they become available.
Late last night, Governor Cuomo’s March 19 Executive Order – prohibiting nonessential businesses from having more than 25% of their workforce report to work – was released. Separately, the Empire State Development Corporation (“ESDC”) issued guidance for determining whether a business is subject to the workforce reduction. As set forth in the ESDC’s guidance, essential businesses include, among others, health care operations; essential infrastructure and manufacturing; news media; financial institutions; and certain retail, construction, and essential services operations. The ESDC also detailed restrictions on requesting designation as an essential business.
Earlier today, however, Governor Cuomo announced a further increase to New York’s density-reduction mandate, requiring all employees of non-essential businesses to stay home. This latest measure will take effect Sunday, March, 22, 2020. The Governor distinguished this measure from a shelter in place directive, but urged New Yorkers to “remain indoors to the greatest extent.” The Governor’s Office has not released an official order reflecting today’s increased density-mitigation measure, nor has the Cuomo Administration updated its guidance concerning “essential businesses.” We are closely monitoring this very fluid situation and will provide updates as they become available.
Earlier this morning, Governor Cuomo increased New York State’s density-reduction mandate, prohibiting businesses state-wide from having more than 25% of their workforce report to work. As such, 75% of a business’s workforce must stay home. This does not include essential services. As set forth in yesterday’s Executive Order, which was made public late last night, essential services include:
[E]ssential health care operations including research and laboratory services; essential infrastructure including utilities, telecommunication, airports and transportation infrastructure; 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; construction; vendors of essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses; 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.
The Order further advises that any business seeking an “essential” designation should request an opinion from the Empire State Development Corporation. The Governor’s Office has not released an official order reflecting today’s increased density-mitigation measure, nor has the Cuomo Administration indicated when this measure is supposed to take effect. We are monitoring this fluid situation and will provide updates as soon as possible.
On Wednesday March 18, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered a press conference concerning New York State’s continued efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In addition to strongly urging businesses to have their employees work from home, the Governor announced “a mandatory state-wide requirement that no business can have more than 50% of their workforce report to work outside of their home.” Governor Cuomo indicated that the mandate will not impact essential services, including, but not limited to, “food, food delivery, pharmacies, healthcare, shipping, supplies, etc.” The Executive Order, by which the mandate will take effect, has not yet been released. Nor has the Cuomo Administration issued an official press release on this unprecedented measure. We are monitoring the Governor’s press releases and Executive Orders closely and will provide an update as soon as possible, including any further guidance on “essential services."