Labor & Employment Law Alert: New York State Issues Guidance for Phase 2 Industries

Today New York State issued guidance for industries that are permitted to resume operations in Phase 2 of New York Forward.  New York State has issued guidance for the following categories of businesses:  (1) office-based businesses; (2) real estate; (3) essential and in-store retail; (4) retail rental, repair and cleaning services; (5) vehicle sales, leasing and rentals; (6) commercial building management; and (7) hair salons and barbershops.  For each industry that is permitted to reopen, New York State has issued summary guidelines, detailed guidelines and a sample business safety plan.  The guidance issued by New York State for Phase 2 industries is available at:

Notably, even businesses or entities that have already been designated as essential under the Empire State Development’s Essential Business Guidance are subject to the new operating requirements issued as part of New York Forward, which include developing a written COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan.

This afternoon Governor Cuomo indicated that the Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions are permitted to move to Phase 2 of New York Forward.

Gyms, fitness centers, in-person exercise classes, video lottery and casino facilities, movie theaters (aside from drive-ins), places of public amusement, dine-in restaurant and bar service and indoor common portions of retail shopping malls with 100,000 or more square feet of retail space available for lease are still prohibited from operating under Phase 2 of New York Forward.  However, retail stores located within shopping malls that have their own external entrances may open in Phase 2.

Labor and employment issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are rapidly evolving, and as local, New York State and federal governments offer further guidance on these issues, we will endeavor to update clients accordingly.

As employers navigate these issues, our Firm’s labor and employment attorneys are standing by to provide legal advice.


This communication is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice.