March 16, 2020 Governor’s Executive Order Regarding Unemployment Insurance Claims and the Open Meetings Law
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
Please find below information regarding the Executive Order issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday, March 13, 2020 (Executive Order 202.2).
Suspension of Waiting Periods for Unemployment Insurance Claimants
Executive Order 202.2 suspends the provision of the Labor Law requiring a one-week waiting period before receiving unemployment insurance benefits for those claimants whose claims arise: (1) directly out of a school closing or other workplace closure in connection with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19); or (2) out of the claimant’s isolation or quarantine in connection with COVID-19. The Executive Order does not specify whether this isolation or quarantine applies to mandated, recommended and/or self-imposed isolation or quarantine. For this reason, if you receive one of these applications, please contact us so that we can guide you in your response if you choose to contest the claim.
Temporary Suspension of Open Meetings Law (OML) Requirements
Executive Order 202.2 temporarily suspends the OML requirement for public bodies (including boards of education) to provide the public with in-person access to public meetings.
Through April 11, 2020 (or later, if authorized by the Governor), public bodies may hold a public meeting: (1) in person, without permitting the public to attend in-person; or (2) remotely, by conference call or similar service. In either case, the public must be able to view or listen to the meeting (by phone, internet live-stream; etc.) and the meeting must be recorded and later transcribed. The Order does not affect executive sessions for which the public body may continue to exclude the public.
If you decide to conduct a public meeting without in-person public attendance, we recommend that the meeting notice include a statement that, in accordance with Executive Order 202.2, the public will not be provided with in-person access to the meeting location, the public may view or listen (as the case may be) to the meeting by a designated means and that the public participation portion of the meeting will be suspended (if applicable). The notice should include instructions on how the public can view or listen to the meeting, which may include a call-in number or website. You may also wish to provide the public with advance notice of how they can submit comments to the public body (by, for example, e-mailing a designated individual in advance of and/or during the meeting).
We recommend that you vote on a resolution at the beginning of the meeting setting forth the manner in which the meeting will be conducted and waiving any applicable policies or common practices with respect to the conduct of your meetings.
Please let us know if you are interested in conducting a meeting without in-person public attendance so that we can assist in drafting your meeting notice and resolution in accordance with your individual policies and practices (for example, policies regarding the suspensions of policies, notice for public meetings, conduct and public participation for public meetings and any other relevant requirements).
If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact Lauren Schnitzer or one of our other attorneys by calling (631) 694-2300.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2020