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HR Alert: Mandatory Face Masks Effective 4/15/20

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Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.16, effective 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, all essential businesses must provide employees with face coverings. This requirement exists for employees “in direct contact with customers or members of the public.”

The Governor has empowered local police departments, among others, to enforce this provision. Obviously, they may visit an essential business at will. As a result, then, a New York essential business that has forward-facing employees should immediately take steps to have face coverings available to their workforce.

Notably, the Executive Order uses the word “shall” in describing the obligation to both provide and to ensure employees actually wear face masks, which appears to be an additional tool to contain and eventually stop the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, it doesn’t define face covering, leaving that up to employers’ discretion, at least for now.

For this and other employment-related challenges, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help.


Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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