Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order effective March 20 that calls on non-essential companies to reduce their workforce to encourage social distancing to fight coronavirus. The order instructs the following:
All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize.
Each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 50% no later than March 20 at 8 p.m. Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions shall not be subject to the in-person restrictions.
This includes essential health care operations including research and laboratory services; essential infrastructure including utilities, telecommunication, airports and transportation infrastructure; essential manufacturing, including food processing and pharmaceuticals; essential retail including grocery stores and pharmacies; essential services including trash collection, mail, and shipping services; news media; banks and related financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; vendors of essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses; 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.
Any other business may be deemed essential after requesting an opinion from the Empire State Development Corporation, which shall review and grant such request, should it determine that it is in the best interest of the state to have the workforce continue at full capacity in order to properly respond to this disaster. No later than 5 p.m. on March 19, 2020, Empire State Development Corporation shall issue guidance as to which businesses are determined to be essential.