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Daily Update – 105

Post: Jul. 12, 2020

NYS Department of Health Emergency Rule Addresses Social distancing Enforcement Measures.

The rule imposes strict requirements on businesses, employees, and customers regarding the wearing of face coverings:

  • Any person who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or face-covering.
  • Any employee who is present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear a mask or face-covering when in direct contact with customers or members of the public, or when unable to maintain social distance. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees.
  • Business operators and building owners, and those authorized on their behalf shall deny admittance to any person who fails to comply with this section and shall require or compel such persons’ removal. Provided, however, that this regulation shall be applied in a manner consistent with the federal American with Disabilities Act, New York State or New York City Human Rights Law, and any other applicable provision of law.
  • The emergency rule requires all businesses and not-for-profit entities to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize – except as may otherwise be permitted by any Executive Order.

A violation of any provision of this rule is subject to all civil and criminal penalties as provided for by law. Individuals who violate the rule are subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation. For purposes of civil penalties, each day that there is a non-essential gathering or that a business operates in a manner inconsistent with the rule shall constitute a separate violation.

The emergency rule is extensive and can be viewed here.

Shifting to Enforcement: Executive Orders 202.47 and 202.48 Reflect a New Tone

Attorneys Caitlin A. Anderson and Hermes Fernandez from Council Associate Member Bond Schoeneck & King write that uver the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.47. and on July 6, the Governor issued Executive Order 202.48. Both of these orders are lengthy. Both impact businesses, municipalities and individuals. Both modify and change prior executive orders. Importantly, both represent the shift in the governor’s tone. There is an emphasis on enforcement of prior mandates.

Read more at BSK

DiNapoli: Local Governments Face ‘Profound’ Fiscal Challenges

Local governments are facing a “profound” fiscal reckoning from the economic crisis created by the pandemic, with the typical county government losing millions of dollars in revenue, a report released Thursday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found. 

The loss of revenue from sales and property taxes, as well as from state aid, will likely lead to public worker layoffs and service reductions.  A “typical” New York county will lose $34.9 million in sales tax revenue this year, as well as $21.5 million in state aid, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated could be cut by 20 percent if federal money is not made available.

Read more at New York State of Politics

Trump Administration: Unemployed Shouldn’t Be Paid More Not To Work

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday expressed support for extending unemployment benefits to Americans who are still suffering from the economic consequences of the coronavirus. But he was adamant those benefits will likely be reduced from current levels to encourage people to go back to work. Said Mnuchin: “We’re going to make sure that people are incented to go back to jobs.”

 A working paper from economists at the University of Chicago finds about 68% of unemployed workers who collect unemployment under the current expanded benefits structure get benefits that are more than their original wages. 

Read more at Forbes

Manufacturing in the Presidential Campaign- Biden Unveils “Build Back Better” Agenda

According to CNBC the $700 billion proposal focuses on manufacturing.

 “Biden calls for a $400 billion, four-year increase in government purchasing of U.S.-based goods and services plus $300 billion in new research and development in U.S. technology concerns. Among other policies announced Thursday, he proposes tightening current ‘Buy American’ laws….”

The plan’s target for funding will be the “repeal [of] Republican-backed tax breaks.” It also calls for the “End of  ‘shareholder capitalism.'”

While the details will face serious debate, the campaign’s plan means that manufacturers and the NAM are again front-and-center. “We are glad to see that both candidates understand the importance of manufacturing in America and the role it plays in our economic success as a country.” Said NAM Senior Vice President of Communications and Brand Strategy Erin Streeter.”

Read More at CNBC

OSHA Highlights Which of Its Standards Apply To COVID-19

OSHA has outlined which of its standards are applicable to the COVID 19 pandemic and how to Comply.  The section highlights OSHA standards and directives (instructions for compliance officers) and other related information that may apply to worker exposure to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

OSHA requirements apply to preventing occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Among the most relevant are:

  • OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standards (in general industry, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I), and, in construction, 29 CFR 1926 Subpart E)
  • The General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, 29 USC 654(a)(1)
  • Other Standards such as Blood Borne Pathogens that offer practices that proceedures that are useful in controlling the spread of the virus.

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Senate Proposal Would Streamline Forgiveness Of Loans Under $150,000

U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), of the Senate Banking Committee introduced The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act. The ACT would forgive PPP loans of $150,000 or less if the borrower submits a one-page attestation form to the lender. It also ensures the lender will be held harmless from any enforcement action if the borrower’s attestation contained falsehoods. 

According to Senator Cramer, there are 3.7 million PPP loans of $150,00 or less, for 85 percent of all PPP approved loans. Yet those loans are only 26 percent of the PPP funds delivered. “The costs of applying for forgiveness of a PPP loan of this size is $2,000 for the small business and $500 for the lender.”

Read more at Forbes

Some Economies are Bouncing Back, But Recoveries Can Easily Go Wrong

Most forecasters reckon that advanced-economy output, after plunging in the first half of 2020, is likely to regain its pre-crisis level some time after 2021. But not all recoveries will be equal. Some rich countries, such as Germany and South Korea, look best placed to bounce back—a “v-shaped recovery”, in the jargon. The path of GDP elsewhere may look more like an l or a w. The Economist’s analysis of real-time mobility data also shows how easily economic recoveries can go wrong, as consumers react to the possibility of fresh outbreaks.

Read more at The Economist

Is COVID-19 Ushering in the Next Generation of Smart Factories?

The concept of a smart factory or even the factory of the future conjures up a number of differing images. This is true whether it’s a highly efficient facility leveraging the best minds in manufacturing to create new offerings. Or the lights out, data driven factories capable of seamlessly creating customized goods on demand. The reality is probably somewhere in between.  A factory with a skilled workforce, perhaps working side-by-side with collaborative robots, making the most of AI/ML, computer vision and an entire array of data-fueled equipment. 

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