March 20, 2020 Executive Order 202.7: Telecommuting and In-Person Workforce Reductions and Modifications to Notary Services
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
Last night, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.7 modifying Order 202.6 to require all businesses and not-for-profit entities in New York State (collectively, “businesses”), other than those defined as “essential,” to the maximum extent possible, and by March 21 at 8 p.m., to reduce their in-person workforce by 75% at each work location. A copy of the Order is available here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2027-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency. In addition, all barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors and related personal care services must close by March 21 at 8 p.m. This applies to nail technicians, cosmetologists, estheticians and the provision of electrolysis and laser hair removal, as these services cannot be provided while maintaining social distancing.
The definition of “essential” businesses has not changed. The Empire State Development Corporation has issued guidance providing further explanation of “essential.” It is available here: https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026. Businesses that are not “essential” may continue to request an opinion that they be deemed an “essential” business. The Corporation will grant the request if “it is in the best interest of the state to have the workforce continue at full capacity in order to properly respond to [the COVID-19 pandemic].”
Executive Order 202.7 also modifies legislation governing notary’s services by permitting notarial acts to be conducted by video conference, provided that the following conditions are met:
- “The person seeking the Notary’s services, if not personally known to the Notary, must present valid photo ID to the Notary during the video conference, not merely transmit it prior to or after;
- The video conference must allow for direct interaction between the person and the Notary (e.g. no pre-recorded videos of the person signing);
- The person must affirmatively represent that he or she is physically situated in the State of New York;
- The person must transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the signed document directly to the Notary on the same date it was signed;
- The Notary may notarize the transmitted copy of the document and transmit the same back to the person; and
- 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 thirty days after the date of execution.”
Please contact Alyson Mathews or one of our other labor and employment attorneys by calling (631) 694-2300 if you have any questions regarding the implementation of Executive Orders 202.7 or need assistance with submitting a request for an opinion from the Corporation, drafting a telecommuting policy or implementing the modifications to the rules regarding notarial acts.
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.
 This Executive Order does not apply to public employers, whose workforces were previously addressed in Executive Order 202.4.
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