An estimated 400,000 New Yorkers are expected to return to their jobs during the first-phase reopening of non-essential businesses. Although shops, construction sites and other industries have been given the all-clear to open their doors in limited capacities, we’re not out of the COVID-19 woods yet.
Returning to the job site during a pandemic in decline isn’t without its risks, and it’s incumbent upon employers to protect their workers. New York State’s Department of Labor has issued the following regulations that businesses are legally required to take specific health and safety measures.
—The job site actually has to be in one of the first-phase industries that has been given the green light to reopen. These include retail, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, wholesale supply-chain operations, landscaping and retail. If your job is a non-essential business that isn’t authorized to reopen, your employer shouldn’t be calling you in. It’s that simple.
—If returning to a business that’s authorized to reopen, your employer must meet a set of safety requirements. These include required to provide masks, enforce social distancing, regularly disinfect the work space and provide hand-washing and sanitizing stations. Your employer is prohibited from summoning you to the workplace if the job can be done remotely.
—Also, it’s illegal for employers to retaliate or threaten your employment status for complaining that proper safety guidelines aren’t being followed. Complaints can be filed at the New York State’s Department of Labor website via this submission form.
For more information on retailer’s state and city guidelines for first-phase reopenings, go here.