NY State Department of Health Website: For up to date information from the Governor and New York State go to the C0VID-19 website HERE.
New York Pause: On March 20, 2020 Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order requiring 100% closure of non-essential businesses statewide, effective 8pm Sunday March 22nd. This follows previous executive orders seeking to reduce work density. Radio and television stations are exempt from this order under the “ News Media” exemption.
Even though they are exempt, stations must still follow other recommended health guidelines. For example, businesses that provide essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet. Additional information may be found HERE.
The Executive Order can be found HERE:
Local Authorities Need State Approval for COVID -19 Restrictions: We have received calls regarding local authorities issuing COVID 19 restrictions. The Governor issued an Executive Order requiring local authorities to get permission from NY state before issuing any COVID 19 regulations.
“Notwithstanding section 24 of the Executive Law, no locality or political subdivision shall issue any local emergency order or executive order with respect to response of COVID-19 without the approval of the State Department of Health. “
The Executive Order can be found HERE.
NY Paid Sick Leave
Employees that work for small sized employers, which includes employers with 10 or fewer employees and that have a net income of less than $1 million, would receive unpaid sick leave and immediately become eligible for Paid Family Leave and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) benefits. Those working for medium sized employers, which includes employers with 10 or fewer employees that have a net income of greater than $1 million and employers with between 11 and 99 employees, would receive at least five days of paid sick leave, followed by eligibility for Paid Family Leave and TDI benefits. Those working for employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employees, would receive a minimum of 14 days of paid sick leave.
The bill will allow these employees to collect Paid Family Leave benefits, supplemented by increased TDI benefits to make their weekly wages whole, for those who earn up to a maximum of $150,000 annually. Additionally, it eliminates the waiting period for these benefits, as well as for unemployment insurance for claims related to the coronavirus. It also expands Paid Family Leave benefits to cover an employee or their dependent child if they are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to coronavirus.”
You can access the bill HERE.
Changes in Filing for Unemployment
The NYS Department of Labor is adding staff and waiving the seven-day waiting period for claimants to file if they have lost jobs due to coronavirus. Based on the first letter of an applicant’s last name, people can file in the following schedule: A-F on Mondays; G-N on Tuesdays; O-Z on Wednesdays. Visit the DOL website for information and updates HERE.
The NY Business Council Website
The Business Council has created a website with an updates on laws that affect NY employers. The website may be accessed HERE.
State-Referred Debt Collection Suspended
The Governor and Attorney General announced that the state has temporarily suspended collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection. The suspension will continue for at least a 30-day period in response to growing financial impairments resulting from the spread of COVID-19. Read the press release HERE.
Extended Enrollment for Health Insurance
NYS Department of Health and Department of Financial Services are allowing eligible individuals will be able to enroll in Qualified Health Plans through NY State of Health or directly through insurers between until April 15, 2020. Coverage would take effect April 1 and the extension is intended to protect the public health of New Yorkers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Individuals eligible for other NY State of Health programs – Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus – can enroll year-round.
You can access the information HERE.
New York Banks – 90 Day Loan Forbearance
Subdivision two of Section 39 of the Banking Law is hereby modified to provide that it shall be deemed an unsafe and unsound business practice if, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, any bank which is subject to the jurisdiction of the Department shall not grant a forbearance to any person or business who has a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for a period of ninety days.
Consumer Loans – Entities Mortgage Forbearance
The Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services shall ensure under reasonable and prudent circumstances that any licensed or regulated entities provide to any consumer in the State of New York an opportunity for a forbearance of payments for a mortgage for any person or entity facing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Superintendent shall promulgate emergency regulations to require that the application for such forbearance be made widely available for consumers, and such application shall be granted in all reasonable and prudent circumstances solely for the period of such emergency.
ATM Fees May be Restricted
The Superintendent shall be empowered to promulgate emergency regulations to direct that, solely for the period of this emergency, fees for the use of automated teller machines (ATMs), overdraft fees and credit card late fees, may be restricted or modified in accordance with the Superintendent’s regulation of licensed or regulated entities taking into account the financial impact on the New York consumer, the safety and soundness of the licensed or regulated entity, and any applicable federal requirements.
Property and Casualty Insurance – 60 Day Grace Period on Premium Payments
Today’s emergency regulation also directs property and casualty insurers to provide flexibility to consumers experiencing financial hardship caused by the pandemic by extending to 60 days the grace period for the payment of premiums and fees under auto, homeowners and renters insurance policies, among others.
The same relief will be available for businesses with 100 employees or less, independently owned and operated and resident in New York, under auto, homeowners, renters, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, livery and taxi, and certain other lines of commercial insurance.
Additional information can be found at https://www.dfs.ny.gov/press_releases/pr202003301