April 15 2020

CEG’s Face Covering FAQ for Essential Businesses

CEG’s Face Covering FAQ for Essential Businesses

Starting tonight (April 15), some employers in New York State will be required to provide certain employees with face coverings under a new executive order (202.16). Employers must provide this protective personal equipment (PPE) at their own cost. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a guidance for essential businesses subjected to this executive order.

Face Coverings FAQ

Who: The requirement to provide face coverings applies to essential businesses or entities with employees “who are present in the workplace” and have “direct contact with customers or members of the public.”

In general, employees have direct interaction with the public when they are “routinely within close contact (i.e. six feet or less) with members of the public, including but not limited to customers or clients.”

Essential businesses and entities must also provide face coverings to contractors, independent contractors.

Employees of essential businesses can wear their own face coverings in the workplace. They must wear face coverings when they are in the workplace and are in direct contact with customers or members of the public, but they may be exempted from this requirement when wearing one would impair their health.

Employees may be eligible for alternative forms of personal protective equipment, alternative work locations or alternative work assignments if they are protected under Matilda’s Law (“i.e. individuals who are 70 years of age or older, individuals with compromised immune systems, and individuals with underlying illnesses”).

What: DOH states “face coverings include, but are not limited to, cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), surgical masks, N-95 respirators, and face shields.”

When: This requirement takes effect Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m.

How: Local governments or local law enforcement may enforce the executive order’s face covering provisions. Volitions could range from $2,000 to being charged with a misdemeanor for willful noncompliance.

Procuring Face Coverings

Employers who cannot obtain face coverings for employees are advised to contact a local office of emergency management. However, DOH warns, “Not being able to source face coverings does not relieve an employer’s obligation to provide such face coverings to their employees.”

CEG is working with several Capital Region manufacturers that have pivoted to produce PPE, including face coverings. Order face coverings for your employees here:

Facemasks: Comfortex (Contact: Kurt VanSteemburg, kurt.vansteemburg@comfortex.com)

Facemasks and face shields: CEG/Benet Laboratories/Tech Valley Center of Gravity (shop here for orders up to 5. For larger orders, contact Cheryl Kennedy at info@tvcog.net)

Face Shields are also being manufactured by local companies:  Next Advance and Saratoga Horseworks

There is a local Facebook group, “518 Masks Group” who are sewing/offering cloth facemasks. 

Should you have any questions or need resources to help your company in these uncertain times, CEG’s professional staff is here to help.  Please contact us here.


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