On April 13, 2020, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring all essential businesses or entities to provide their employees with face masks or face wear that must be worn when those employees are in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Employers are required to pay for the full cost of the face wear. The mandate goes into effect at 8 PM EST, on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, and shall remain in effect at least until May 15, 2020. The executive order follows a similar order issued by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy but is not as comprehensive. New Jersey’s mandate requires that all individuals wear face masks in a variety of public spaces such as supermarkets, but Governor Cuomo has not indicated that he intends to institute that measure.
Takeaway for Employers
Employers operating essential businesses who have not already required their employees to wear face masks, should implement broad policies requiring the use of facial wear when interacting with customers and co-workers. Employers should ensure that they have a supply of facial masks that can be distributed to their entire workforce.
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Putney, Twombly, Hall & Hirson LLP