At a press conference on March 20, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced what is effectively a state-wide shutdown, requiring 100 percent of the state's non-essential workforce to work from home or stay home, effective on Sunday evening, March 22. The Executive Order will be enforced via unspecified civil fines (to be imposed on business entities, not on individuals), as well as mandatory closures for businesses that fail to comply.

Businesses deemed "essential" include grocery stores, pharmacies, utilities, Internet service providers and restaurants with delivery. A more comprehensive list of "essential businesses" was provided in conjunction with a prior Executive Order and can be found here. And, while public transportation will continue to operate, the Governor stated that, except for those using public transportation for urgent medical reasons, only essential workers should be using it. 

In addition, non-essential gatherings of any size, including recreational activities, are now canceled statewide.

This shutdown is expected to remain in effect for the foreseeable future, and according to the Governor, could last for months. We will provide further updates as more details become available.

The firm's New York-based Employment Services team is available to help employers navigate the unique challenges posed by this Executive Order.

The facts, laws, and regulations regarding COVID-19 are developing rapidly. Since the date of publication, there may be new or additional information not referenced in this advisory. Please consult with your legal counsel for guidance.

DWT will continue to provide up-to-date insights and virtual events regarding COVID-19 concerns. Our most recent insights, as well as information about recorded and upcoming virtual events, are available at