New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during his May 29 press briefing that five Regions have been approved to enter “Phase Two” for business reopening. These are: Finger Lakes, Central New York, Southern Tier, North Country, and Mohawk Valley. This came after data from each region was reviewed by international experts in the area of COVID-19 pandemic preparation and reopening. Guidance for that reopening has now been published by Empire State Development.
The following businesses continue to remain closed: malls, dine-in and on-premise restaurant or bar services, large gathering or event venues, gyms and fitness centers/classes, video lottery and casino gaming facilities, movie theaters (except drive-ins), places of public amusement.
To mitigate confusion about which businesses constitute Phase Two 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 Two approved.
As with Phase One, 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:
If you have questions about how to bring your business into compliance with New York’s new guidance, or would like to discuss the reopening of your business in further detail, please contact our Labor & Employment Law practice group.