Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Real Estate

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“ERAP”) is an economic relief program that was established to help eligible applicants, who have a primary residence in New York State and are requesting assistance for rental and utility arrears due to COVID-19.  The application process can be initiated by either landlords or tenants.

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The Aftermath of the Cuomo Investigation Report: Lessons for NY Employers

Employment Law

The sexual harassment allegations brought against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo presents a reminder for employers to reassess workplace practices to minimize the likelihood of similar events occurring in the workplace. Among the many potential action items and considerations, below are tips on training, education, and communication that all employers should abide by:

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OSHA’s Revised COVID-19 Guidance Adopts CDC’s Latest Recommendation on Masks for Vaccinated Employees, Advocates for Vaccination, and Suggests Periodic Testing for Unvaccinated Employees

Employment Law

In response to the modified COVID-19 recommendations published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on July 27, 2021, on Friday, August 13, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.

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CDC Changes Masking Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Employment Law

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on July 27, 2021 that it will adjust its advice to recommend that vaccinated people in substantial or high transmission areas of COVID-19 (defined below) wear masks in indoor public spaces. This guidance will substantially alter the CDC’s May 13 guidance that largely exempted fully vaccinated individuals from the indoor mask requirement. There has been no change in the outdoor masking recommendations at this time. In changing its masking recommendations, the CDC asserts that current scientific information indicates that the delta variant can be spread despite vaccine status, warranting an adjustment to its prior guidance.

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New York “HERO” Act – Additional Time and Guidance to Comply with Law Aimed to Reduce Spread of Airborne Infectious Diseases

Employment Law

Lots of material lately because some of this stuff seems to change almost daily:

As we have previously posted, the New York State Legislature has passed several amendments to the Health and Essential Rights Act (the “HERO Act”), which is intended to reduce the spread of not just COVID-19 but all airborne infectious diseases. The amendments provide New York state employers with additional time and guidance regarding how to comply with the HERO Act. 

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NY HERO Act amended

Employment Law

On June 11, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation (SB 6768) amending the recently enacted NY HERO Act permitting employers more time to comply.  The Act provides for the following:

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OSHA’s Updated Guidance for COVID-19 in Workplaces

Employment Law

When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rolled out its COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard on June 10, 2021, it also issued its updated Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in non-healthcare workplaces.

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New York Reaches 70 Percent Vaccinated: What Does That Mean for NY Employers?

Employment Law

We continue to see changing requirements related to COVID-19 workplace protocols. On June 15, 2021, New York State celebrated reaching 70 percent of its adult population having received at least one vaccination dose. As a result, the State lifted most of its New York Forward industry-specific COVID-19 guidelines—including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and gathering contact information for tracing—making them optional for most employers. The State has archived its industry-specific reopening guidance, which employers may, but are not required to, continue to follow.  However, employers should be aware that, as of this writing, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office had not given any indication that Executive Order 202 (“E.O. 202”), which declared a state of emergency on March 7, 2020, would be lifted before July 5, 2021, which is the date to which the most recent continuation of E.O. 202 extends. The continuation of the state of emergency furthers the governor’s authority to issue directives related to the pandemic.

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Navigating the interplay of the FMLA and ADA for injured employees

Employment Law

Every employer has heard of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but those two laws can present a complicated interplay when an employee is injured on the job.  Each stage presented by a workplace injury — from the incident, to the recovery, to the return — requires employers to answer at least one key question, and an incorrect answer could give an employee grounds for a claim, so knowledge of the most common issues that arise is paramount.

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Interim Guidance for Office-Based Work

On June 8, 2021, New York State issued updated Interim Guidance for Office-Based Work, which provides guidance to businesses regarding capacity limits, face coverings, screening requirements, and more. This latest update, in large measure, was intended to incorporate the CDC’s guidance exempting fully vaccinated individuals from face covering and social distancing requirements in most settings, which was adopted by New York State on May 19, 2021.

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Words of caution regarding summer interns

Employment Law

It is that time of year when many employers begin to hire or consider hiring student interns for the summer.  Employers can make the mistake of assuming that simply because a person is given the title of “Intern” the individual does not have to be paid. That assumption can be a trap resulting in significant unpaid wage liability for an employer under federal and state law.  

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The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act and the Workplace

Employment Law

Nearly eight years after the legislation was first introduced, on March 31, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (the “MRTA”) into law, making New York the most recent state to legalize recreational marijuana. The MRTA takes effect immediately, even though the sale of recreational-use marijuana is not expected to become legal for another year or two, as the state still needs to create a regulatory framework for the cannabis industry.

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The HERO Act

Employment Law

On May 5, 2021, Governor Cuomo officially signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act) into law. The HERO Act effectively imposes significant obligations on covered employers to provide and maintain a safe workplace in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and for future airborne infectious disease outbreaks. The HERO Act amends the New York Labor Law by adding two new sections: (1) Section 218-b, which governs development and adoption of an airborne infectious disease prevention policy; and (2) Section 27-D, that requires employers to permit the creation of workplace safety committees. Both sections only apply to private sector employers. However, Section 27-D specifically only applies to private employers with at least 10 employees.

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