Employment & Business Litigation Pointers - Volume I, No. 7


Employment & Business Litigation Pointers

Volume I, No. 7
Tuesday, May 19, 2020


As a public service, we are pleased to present this issue of Employment & Business Litigation Pointers, which aims to provide our clients and subscribers with timely information and practical, business-oriented solutions to the latest employment and general business litigation developments.  In some jurisdictions, newsletters such as this may be considered: Attorney Advertising.
If you know of others who may wish to subscribe to this free publication, please feel free to forward it. If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe, please do so at the bottom of this newsletter.


New York Unveils More Details Regarding Phase 1 of Reopening: Is Your Business Included?

By Joseph S. Brown, Esq.

On May 11, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that certain low-risk business and recreational activities will be ready to reopen statewide on May 15th, including landscaping and gardening; outdoor, low-risk recreational activities such as tennis; and drive-in movie theaters.  He also announced that the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley Regions have met all seven metrics required to begin Phase 1 of the state’s phased reopening plan when NYS on PAUSE expires.  Yesterday, it was announced that Western New York was ready to begin Phase 1 on May 19.

Governor Cuomo released a 51-page document entitled the "NY Forward Reopening" Plan, available here.  The state also unveiled an “Industries Reopening by Phase” on the NY Forward website, which can be accessed here.  This page provides more details about Phase 1 which covers the following industries:  (1) Construction; (2) Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting; (3) Retail - (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off); (4) Manufacturing; and (5) Wholesale Trade. For each industry, the website includes links to Summary Guidelines for Employers and Employees, Detailed Interim Guidance During the COVID-19 Emergency, and a Safety Plan Template.  This alert provides a brief overview of those materials and what is expected of businesses as they make plans to re-open.

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School's Out for Summer: U.S. DOL Issues New Guidance on FFCRA Childcare Leave and More
By Katherine L. Wood, Esq.

The initial flurry of requests for Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) leave may have passed, but as New York businesses make plans to reopen, we are likely to see new situations where parents with school-aged children may request leave under the FFCRA.  For example, with schools’ summer break right around the corner, do employers need to provide FFCRA leave for employees whose children were previously occupied by tele-learning during the school day?   

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Nationwide State Survey of Healthcare Immunity Related to COVID-19

By Stephanie L. McCance, Esq. of our Medical Malpractice & Nursing Home Liability team


As the nation’s COVID-19 hotspot, New York has issued several Executive Orders and Department of Health Directives implementing various healthcare directives to combat the virus pandemic. To sum our prior analysis of these,  Governor Cuomo has issued sweeping immunity for healthcare facilities—including hospitals, nursing homes, and adult care facilities—and medical personnel—including physicians, nurses, and administrative employees—from legal liability related to their conduct in dealing with COVID-19, with exceptions for gross negligence and willful misconduct.

However, New York is not alone in introducing legislative efforts to both assist and regulate healthcare facilities and providers in response to COVID-19. Many states have enacted similar such provisions, or already had such provisions in place, and we aim to provide a succinct summary in this legal alert.

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Free Webinar Tomorrow, March 20th! NYS Reopening Guidelines: HR & Legal Implications

NYS has released industry specific guidelines for the reopening of businesses, which include a Business Safety Plan Template. Having a clear and available safety plan will be a critical part of the reopening process for businesses.

Hosted by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, this webinar featuring Hurwitz & Fine and Employer Services Group, will address HR and Legal common issues and concerns that businesses have raised while creating a safety plan. This is a must-attend for any business currently developing a reopening plan or any essential business that has been operating and needs to double check measures against the new guidelines.

For more information, and to register, click here.


COVID-19 Legal Response Team


Hurwitz & Fine's COVID-19 Legal Response Team was created to provide legal advice and counseling our clients are seeking during this time. Our approach is an interdisciplinary model comprised of lawyers from various firm practice groups. For more information, click here.


Joseph S. Brown, Esq.

Hurwitz & Fine's Labor & Employment team is here to answer your questions:

Labor & Employment Law
Ann E. Evanko, Esq. ([email protected])
Andrea Schillaci, Esq. ([email protected])
Joseph S. Brown, Esq. ([email protected])
Amber E. Storr, Esq. ([email protected])
Katherine L. Wood, Esq.


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