New York has become the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has led efforts in responding to the crisis through aggressive Stay-at-Home orders and prohibitions that have been modeled by other states.
Now, a new directive is expanding New York’s order against nonessential gatherings and nonessential business to the construction industry.
Coronavirus & Construction in New York
Construction projects in New York City and the state of New York have dealt with uncertainty, supply chain issues, and contractual disputes over project delays, but were largely unaffected by the state’s March 20th order pausing all nonessential business.
With the number of confirmed cases and deaths rising at alarming rates, and local hospitals inundated, however, Gov. Cuomo took more decisive steps to flatten the curve when he announced on Friday that all nonessential construction in New York will be closed.
Under the new directive:
- Most residential and commercial construction projects in New York are suspended.
- Essential construction (including work on hospitals, affordable housing / homeless shelters, and infrastructure) and emergency non-essential repairs (i.e. projects necessary to protect health and safety) will be allowed to continue.
- Essential and emergency non-essential construction must maintain social distancing requirements – including those related to elevators, meals, entry, and exit. Sites that do not maintain social distancing or safety best practices will be closed, and fines up to $10,000 per violation may be assessed.
- Construction work does not include a single worker who is the sole employee / worker on site.
Guidance on the new directive and what is considered essential business is available online.
Protecting Workers’ Rights Amid COVID-19
The coronavirus outbreak has had an unprecedented impact on the world, and especially so in New York City. At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., our legal team has been closely tracking legal updates and guidance pertaining to our practice areas, and though courts have largely closed and substantially limited cases, we remain open for business, and are working remotely to serve existing clients and potential clients looking to learn more about their rights following preventable injuries.
If you have questions about a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim, or the impact of COVID-19 on a related matter, contact us to speak with an attorney.