New York State Orders Essential Businesses to Provide Masks to Public-Facing Employees

April 14, 2020Alerts

On April 12, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring all essential businesses or entities to provide employees with face coverings that they must wear when in direct contact with customers or the public. Employers are required to provide the face coverings, such as cloth or surgical masks, to their employees free of charge. The executive order does not provide any specifications for the required face coverings.

Local governments or law enforcement will enforce the new requirement, which goes into effect at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. However, there is no information at this time regarding the consequences for noncompliance. The requirement is effective through May 12, 2020, although it may be extended by the governor.

Businesses that are unsure whether they are deemed “essential” should consult with counsel or refer to official guidance available here from Empire State Development.


For more information about this alert, please contact Carolyn D. Richmond at [email protected] or 212.878.7983, Glenn S. Grindlinger at [email protected] or 212.905.2305, Jason B. Jendrewski at [email protected] or 212.878.7952, or any member of the firm’s New York Labor & Employment Group.