Mask Up! New York “Essential” Businesses and Nonprofit Organizations Must Provide Face Masks to Public-Facing Employees

All New York “essential” businesses, including nonprofit organizations, must provide face coverings to their employees when in direct contact with customers or members of the public, at their own expense, as per an Executive Order from Governor Andrew Cuomo, starting Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 8 p.m.

The Empire State Development (ESD) guidance on which organizations are deemed “essential” in New York State was updated on April 9, 2020, and can be found here.  Businesses and organizations deemed “essential” by ESD must continue to comply with the New York State Department of Health’s guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment.

Every business is being strongly urged by New York State to continue to maintain social distancing measures to the extent possible.  Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey has recently issued a similar executive order for essential businesses in New Jersey.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also directed that, effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020, any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering, must cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in public and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.  This includes but is not limited to, when walking on the sidewalk or in a park, traveling on public transit or in an Uber, Lyft, Via, etc. 

On April 16th, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo also ordered “New York on PAUSE” extended to May 15, 2020.  The Executive Order requires all workers at non-essential businesses, including nonprofit organizations, to work from home, schools to remain closed, and individuals to maintain a 6-foot distance from others in public, as per an Executive Order.

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa M. Brauner, Esq., Head of Employment Law Practice, Perlman & Perlman LLP,, 212-889-0575 ext. 207.

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