Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.8 requires that, starting March 22 at 8 p.m., all workers stay home, unless they work for essential businesses.

  • Defining essential businesses: In a companion document, the Governor identified 12 categories of essential businesses. Some are obvious, such as healthcare operations (including hospitals, labs, and nursing homes); essential retail (including grocery stores and pharmacies); and financial institutions (including banks). Others leave more room for interpretation, such as “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, including logistics.”
  • How much of a business’s functions are essential. Some businesses might serve both essential and non-essential functions. Only essential functions are exempt from the in-person restrictions.
  • Whether a business needs to apply for designation as essential. Businesses that fall under the 12 categories identified by the Governor do not need apply to be designated essential. Other businesses may submit a request to Empire State Development. Businesses with only one on-site employee are automatically exempt and also do not need to submit a request.
  • Penalties: Any business that violates the in-person restrictions is subject to the same penalties imposed by Section 12 of the Public Health Law, which provides for a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000 per violation.

Please contact us for guidance on your particular situation.

Links courtesy of the New York State Bar Association