In what he described as the “most drastic action” he can take, New York Governor Cuomo has ordered all non-essential workers to stay home, in his latest Executive Order 202.08 issued yesterday afternoon. As we reported, Governor Cuomo had previously ordered businesses to reduce their in-person workforces at any work locations by 75%, unless they qualify as an “essential business.” Now, that number has been expanded to New York’s entire non-essential workforce.
In addition to exclusions for those classified as “essential,” any entity providing essential services or functions to an essential or non-essential business is not necessarily subject to the stay-at-home requirement and “may operate at the level necessary to provide such service or function.” Companies should evaluate which of their services and functions are “essential” and whether those services and functions can be conducted remotely. Only if the essential service or function requires on-site employees can the employee report to the office.
Those in violation of the order will be subject to penalties in accordance with New York’s Public Health Law. Employers may still apply for an exemption using the state’s form found here.
This newest restriction takes effect tonight at 8 p.m. and continues through April 19, 2020.