March 21, 2020. In the past week, Governor Cuomo has issued Executive Orders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, several of which are highlighted below.
March 21, 2020 – NY Banks Ordered to Provide 90-Day Forbearance – Gov. Cuomo issued an Executive Order (202.9) modifying the NY Banking Law §39 (2) so that “it shall be deemed an unsafe and unsound business practice if, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, any [NY] bank…shall not grant a forbearance to any person or business who has a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for a period of ninety  days.” The Executive Order directs the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services to enforce this directive and empowers the Superintendent to promulgate emergency regulations to do so.
A copy of Executive Order 202.9 can be found at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2029-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency
March 20, 2020 – NY Statutes of Limitations Suspended – In a sweeping Executive Order (202.8), Gov. Cuomo has tolled until April 19, 2020 “any specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding, as prescribed by the procedural laws of the state”.
The Executive Order also:
- Extends through April 19, 2020 all drivers’ licenses, non-driver identification cards, vehicle registrations, and temporary registration documents issued to auto dealers.
- Extends until April 19, 2020 any requirement under NY Business Corporation Law requiring meetings of shareholders to be noticed and held at a physical location.
- Directs that all businesses and not-for-profit entities not deemed to providing essential services (see E.O. 202.6) to reduce in-person workforce at any work location by 100% starting March 22nd at 8 p.m.
- Prohibits the enforcement of any eviction of any residential or commercial tenant or any foreclosure of residential or commercial property for a period of 90 days.
- Cancels until further notice any appointment with the NYS DMV.
- Abates the late filing and payment penalties and interest under the NY Tax Law for a period of 60 days for taxpayers who are required to file returns and remit sales and use tax by March 20, 2020, for the quarterly period ending February 29, 2020.
A copy of Executive Order 202.8 can be found at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2028-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency
March 19, 2020 – NY Personal Care Services Business Ordered Closed – Gov. Cuomo issued an Executive Order (202.7) directing that “until further notice, all barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors and related personal care services will be closed to members of the public.” Included are nail technicians, cosmetologists and estheticians, and the provision of electrolysis, and laser hair removal services.
The Executive Order also:
- Authorizes through April 18, 2020 that a Notary’s services may be performed utilizing audio-video technology provided the conditions set-forth in the Executive Order are met. These requirements generally require the ability to interact with the party signing the document so as to permit proper identification and acknowledgment of what is being signed and presence within the State of New York. The Notary may repeat the notarization of the original signed document as of the date of execution provided the Notary receives such original signed document together with the electronically notarized copy within 30 days after the date of execution.
- Directs that all businesses and not-for-profit entities not deemed to providing essential services (see E.O. 202.6) to reduce in-person workforce at any work location by 75% starting March 21st at 8 p.m.
A copy of Executive Order 202.7 can be found at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2027-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency
March 18, 2020 – Workplace Reduction Ordered – Gov. Cuomo issued an Executive Order (202.6) directing that all businesses and not-for-profit entities not deemed to providing essential services to reduce their in-person workforce at any work location by 50% starting March 20th at 8 p.m. and utilize the maximum extent possible any telecommuting or work from home procedures that can be safely utilized.
Essential businesses or entities providing essential functions are not subject to the restrictions, including:
- Essential health care operations, research and laboratory services;
- Infrastructure, including utilities, telecommunications, airports and transportation;
- Essential manufacturing, including food processing and pharmaceuticals;
- Essential retail, including grocery stores and pharmacies;
- Essential services, including trash collection, mail and shipping services;
- News media;
- Banks and related financial institutions;
- Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations;
- Vendors of essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses;
- Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health safety and welfare of the public.
The Executive Order authorizes the Empire State Development Corporation to review and grant requests by other businesses for exemptions from these restrictions, if, in the opinion of the ESDC, that it is in the best interest of the state to have the workforce of that business continue at full capacity in order to properly respond to this disaster.
A copy of Executive Order 202.6 can be found at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2026-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency