For many upstate regions, “Phase Three” of New York’s business reopening plan started on June 12th. As of June 17, 2020, seven regions are in Phase Three (Western New York, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, North County and the Capital Region), two are in Phase Two (Mid-Hudson and Long Island), and New York City is in Phase One.
Phase Three includes businesses in Food Services (including food trucks and concessions) and Personal Care (nail and tanning salons, tattoo and piercing shops, spas, massage therapy and cosmetology practices).
To mitigate confusion about which businesses constitute Phase Three businesses, Empire State Development has created a Business Reopen Lookup Tool. Business owners and consumers may enter the county and industry in which a business operates to determine, in real time, whether that business is Phase Three approved.
As with Phases One and Two, individuals are able to file complaints regarding the improper operation of businesses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, online or by phone, and employees may make complaints against their employers through an online form with the Department of Labor. Therefore, it is imperative that all employers and public-facing businesses comply in good faith with all guidance to avoid possible penalties, or business closures.
Though guidance varies by industry, the common thread across each is that social distancing remains imperative.
Here are the highlights important to you:
- Safety plans must be completed, and maintained onsite (it is not a requirement that they be submitted to the Department of Health). A link to the safety plan template is provided here: Safety Plan Template.
- Businesses must read and affirm that they have read the detailed guidance. A hyperlink for the affirmation is located at the bottom of each industry’s “detailed guidance” (links below), and allows businesses to submit their business information to Empire State Development.
- Guidance varies by sector, and subcategories within sectors, so it will be important to locate the guidance most applicable to your business.
- The 6-Foot Rule continues to be in effect, and persons working or patronizing businesses in all industries should attempt to stay 6 feet apart when possible.
- Screening must occur regularly to determine whether employees or vendors had COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for, or came in contact with someone suspected or known to have COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
- Businesses must designate a point-of-contact whom employees can inform if they later are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
If you are a Phase Three Business Owner, it is imperative that you review the full guidance provided in the links above. If you have questions about how to bring your business into compliance with New York’s new guidance, our Labor & Employment Law team is ready to help.