January 19, 2021

Volume XI, Number 19

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January 18, 2021

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New York Orders All Non-Essential Businesses to Reduce In-Person Workforce (US)

On March 18, 2020, New York Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order that all non-essential businesses shall reduce their in-person workforce by March 20 at 8 pm.  On March 19, guidance was released clarifying that in-person workforces at each location must be reduced by 75% from pre-state of emergency declaration employment levels.  Employees are of course able to telework during this period.  The Executive Order remains in effect through April 17, 2020.

Essential businesses which are not subject to the order include:

  1. Essential health care operations, including:
  • research and laboratory services
  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • veterinary and animal health services
  • elder care
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • home health care workers or aides
  • doctor and dentist offices
  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • medical supplies and equipment providers
  1. Essential infrastructure, including:
  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • telecommunications and data centers
  • airports/airlines
  • transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages
  1. Essential manufacturing, including:
  • food processing, including all foods and beverages
  • chemicals
  • medical equipment/instruments
  • pharmaceuticals
  • safety and sanitary products
  • telecommunications
  • microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • agriculture/farms
  • paper products
  1. Essential retail, including:
  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer’s markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores
  1. Essential services, including:
  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats/dry cleaning
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • storage for essential businesses
  • animal shelters or animal care or management
  1. News media
  1. Financial Institutions, including:
  • banks
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting
  1. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations, including:
  • homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
  • food banks
  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support
  1. Construction, including:
  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes
  1. Defense and natural security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government.
  1. Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses, including:
  • law enforcement
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection
  • doormen
  1. 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, including:
  • logistics
  • technology support
  • child care programs and services
  • government owned or leased buildings
  • essential government services

If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business. 

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© Copyright 2020 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 79
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About this Author

Meghan E. Hill Labor & Employment Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Columbus, OH & New York, NY
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Meghan Hill’s clients benefit from her holistic approach and ability to incorporate their goals and objectives when working to prevent and solve employment law problems. Meghan’s big-picture view allows her to understand all ramifications employers face when dealing with issues, as well as identify broader issues outside of employment. Meghan works with numerous diversified industrial companies and has a growing healthcare client base.

Meghan regularly represents companies in complex litigation and wage and hour collective and Rule 23 class actions in federal courts, including...

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