January 21, 2021

Volume XI, Number 21

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Much of New York Construction is Now Also “on PAUSE”

Although Governor Cuomo put “New York State on PAUSE” a week ago, at that time, “construction” was not specifically exempted from his Executive Order and the Empire State Development’s (ESD) guidance on what businesses were subject to the 100% workforce reduction. Yet, pursuant to a further directive from the Governor, on Friday, March 27, 2020, the ESD updated its guidance to explicitly state that “[a]ll non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).” (Emphasis added.) See: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026.

The ESC provides several examples of “[e]ssential construction,” and advises that for project sites falling within that category, or for sites qualifying as “emergency non-essential construction,” the Executive Order’s 10-point policy requires, as explained in the ESC guidance, “maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit.” See also 10 Point Plan. The ESC warns that “[s]ites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.”

The ESC guidance excludes from the definition of “construction work” “a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site.”

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Copyright © 2020 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 88
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Virginia K. Trunkes Construction & Litigation Attorney Robinson + Cole Law Firm
Counsel

Virginia K. Trunkes advocates on behalf of developers; apartment building, brownstone and condominium unit owners; cooperative boards of directors; construction managers, contractors and subcontractors; and design services professionals in negotiating their business contracts and adjacent-owner license access agreements. She is a member of the firm’s Construction Law Group.

As former Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Construction Law Committee, Virginia has a broad overview of all issues implicating construction projects, including...

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Lisa B. Andrzejewski Construction Law Attorney Robinson + Cole Law Firm Connecticut
Associate

Lisa Andrzejewski represents clients throughout the construction industry, including owners, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals, sureties, and high net-worth homeowners. As a member of the firm’s Construction Group, she manages complex construction matters through litigation mediation and arbitration. Lisa also provides transactional services to her clientele. 

Litigation 

Lisa recognizes that while construction cases often involve common issues such as defective construction, defective...

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