Information for Businesses

Essential Business Determination

“On March 18, 2020, Executive Order 202.6 (or as revised) directed that all businesses and not-for-profit entities in New York State, shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize.

It is directed that, no later than March 20, 2020 at 8 p.m., each for-profit or not-for profit employer (excluding state and local governments and authorities) shall reduce the in-person workforce at each business/work location by 75% from pre-state of emergency declaration employment levels.”

Click here to view the full text of the guidance

Click here to request designation as an essential business 

Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should only be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.

Restrictions on requesting designation as an essential business:

  • Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (i.e. gas station) has been deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an essential business.

Businesses ordered to close on Monday, March 15, 2020 under the restrictions on any gathering with 500 or more participants,  are presumed to be compliant with NYS issued restrictions and must remain closed and are not eligible for designation as an essential business for purposes of this guidance.

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act

If your business is forced to close, you should provide required notices as soon as possible and identify the circumstances that required the closure. The 90 day notice requirement has been waived due to COVID-19

Who must issue a WARN Notice

Private sector employers in New York State that employ more than 50 employees

  • Closings affecting 25 or more workers
  • Mass layoffs involving 25 or more full-time workers (if the 25 or more workers make up at least 33% of all the workers at the site)
  • Mass layoffs involving 250 or more full-time workers
  • Certain other relocations and covered reductions in work hours

Notice must be sent to:

  • Employees
  • Their representatives
  • The State Labor Department at, and
  • Local workforce development (LWD) partner
    (Dutchess County’s LWD notice may go to )

Shared Work Program

For more information call (518) 549-0496 OR email

  • Employees can receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. Full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are eligible.
  • The Shared Work weekly amount is the employee’s weekly unemployment benefit rate multiplied by the percentage that the plan reduces their hours and wages.

Business Eligibility

  • Employed at least two employees working in New York State
  • For four consecutive calendar quarters, you or your predecessor, must have:

o  Paid UI contributions
o  In lieu of contributions, elected reimbursement of  benefits paid to your former employees

The Shared Work plan must:

  • Reduce work hours and corresponding wages 20 – 60%
  • Apply to employees who normally work no more than 40 hours per week
  • Not reduce or eliminate fringe benefits unless fringe benefits are also being reduced or eliminated for the entire work force
  • Not extend beyond 53 weeks (when nearing the end of the plan, you may submit a request for a new plan)
  • Replace a layoff of an equal percentage of employees

Businesses cannot hire additional employees for the work group covered by the plan.

If there is a collective bargaining agreement in effect, the collective bargaining agent must agree to take part in the Shared Work plan.

Shared Work Program Employer Fact Sheet

Shared Work Program Employee Fact Sheet