EMPIRE STATE
ENERGY ASSOCIATION

COVID-19 Survey and Resources

IMPORTANT:
Please Take the Coronavirus Preparedness and Planning Survey

We need your feedback.  The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is asking New York energy companies to help with the questions below. This brief survey is to learn of plans in place to ensure the continued delivery of heating fuels and related equipment services as a critical need during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We know that our members are doing everything possible to protect their employees and customers.

Individual responses will be kept confidential and only aggregate information will be communicated to the state.

Below the survey you will find important information and resources. Please check this section often, as we will be updating it regularly as new resources are released. 

 

Company Info


COVID-19 Preparedness and Planning


Staff Shortage Situation


Additional Thoughts/Concerns Regarding Next 8 Weeks


  


Waivers

  • PHMSA Issues Enforcement Waiver For CDL Hazmat Driver Reoccurring Training
    Please click here to read more.

  • FMSCA Suspends HOS Regulations for Those Aiding COVID-19 Relief. For a copy of the FMCSA waiver please click here.
    Use of this waiver is only applicable in the direct support of Emergency Relief. 

     

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order

March 21, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order, which formally adopts the 100% workforce reduction for nonessential businesses.  This executive order also tolls until April 19, 2020 any specific time limit “for the commencement, filing or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding, as prescribed by the procedural laws of the state, including but limited to the criminal procedure law, the family court act, the civil practice law and rules, the court of claims act, the surrogate’s court procedure act, and the uniform court acts, or by any other statute, local law, ordinance, order, rue, or regulation, or part thereof.”

Further, this executive order suspends the requirement that company boards hold in-person shareholder meetings, prohibits evictions/foreclosures for 90 days and extends driver’s license and vehicle registrations for the duration of the order.  The text of the executive order can be found here:

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2028-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

Overnight, Empire State Development (ESD) updated the guidance for determining whether a business was essential or non-essential. We anticipate that this guidance will continue to be updated, and we will send you those updates as we receive them.  The guidance can be found here:

https://esd.ny.gov/guidance-executive-order-2026

Fuel retailers/wholesalers are covered under the list Essential Infrastructure which includes fuel supply and gas stations are included under the list for Essential Retail, skilled trades, such as electricians, plumbers and other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes are included under Construction.

As a reminder, for businesses that are unclear regarding their classification as essential, ESD has established an online form that can be submitted to receive an individual designation.  The form can be found here:

https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/Request%20for%20Designation%20Form_0.pdf.

The form must be submitted by an individual business and cannot be submitted by an Association on behalf of a particular industry.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

NYS Paid Sick Leave Legislation

  • Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.

  • Employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine order, and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.

  • Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers (regardless of number of employees), will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.

It also directs the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to implement a risk adjustment pool to help stabilize the DBL/PFL insurance carrier industry. Also, if federal COVID-19 benefits are approved, these state benefits would only apply if they would provide employee benefits in excess of what is available under federal law.

NYS Resources

REMINDER: To help keep up with the quickly changing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, below are some important resources related to the economic impacts for businesses and workers ...

  • ESD has set up a web portal and FAQ page for individuals and businesses with business-related COVID-19 issues and questions on this website with all COVID-19 info: https://esd.ny.gov/esd-covid-19-related-resources

  • NYS page for all COVID-19 information: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

  • NEW: SBA has approved a statewide disaster declaration for New York. Eligible small businesses may now apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) online at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

  • Many businesses and organizations have expressed a desire to support New York State as it responds to the virus outbreak. Individuals or groups looking to volunteer or contribute to the State’s effort should contact the Governor’s Office at covid19assistance@exec.ny.gov.

  • DOL has been working hard to keep up with the new demand for Unemployment Insurance and has institute new rules that include extended ours and restrictions about when to file based on your last name: https://labor.ny.gov/pressreleases/2020/march-17-2020-1.shtm

  • DOL is also reminding businesses of its Shared Work Program that can provide an alternative to laying off employees during business downturns by allowing workers to work a reduced work schedule and collect partial unemployment insurance benefits for up to 26 weeks. Instead of cutting staff, you able to reduce the number of hours of all employees or just a certain group: https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/employerinfo/shared-work-program.shtm

  • The NY State of Health insurance marketplace is reopening enrollment in Qualified Health Plans in response to the outbreak of Covid-19, so that more people might seek out testing and medical care. People can purchase coverage on the exchange or directly from insurers through April 15 with policies effective April 1.

  • The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs has published an Emergency Rule on price gouging. The rule prohibits price gouging with regard to personal and household goods and services that either: (a) consumers reasonably believe aid in diagnosing or monitoring disease symptoms, prevent the spread of disease, or treat disease, under certain circumstances; or (b) merchants market as aiding in diagnosing or monitoring disease symptoms, preventing the spread of disease, or treating disease, under certain circumstances.

  • New York City: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-outreach.page

 

Information for Businesses:

Related Organization Resources

Government Resources

 

The White House and the CDC have released a 15 day plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease 2019 website for latest information: HERE

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus 2019 Map: (here)

 

WEBINARS & Other Info

Courtesy of ESEA's lobbying firm, Harter Secrest & Emery ...

Harter Secrest & Emery on demand webinars & videos

 

News Links

 

COVID-19 National Disaster Relief Declaration Paves Way for Tax-Advantaged Way for Employers to Provide Relief to Employees

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are looking for ways to help their employees cope with the ongoing crisis. For example, many employers have offered free coverage of COVID-19 testing and treatment under their group health plans and are enhancing employee assistance program benefits to deal with the psychological toll. Of course, in these uncertain times, many employees are worried about the financial impact of the pandemic, not only with respect to potential lost wages, but also from the ancillary expenses, such as caring for impacted loved ones and daycare expenses now that many schools have closed. When President Trump declared that the COVID-19 pandemic constituted a national emergency on March 13, he opened the door for employers to take advantage of an often-overlooked provision in the tax code that would allow employers to make tax-free "qualified disaster relief payments" to employees.

Please click the button below to review this LEGALcurrents®.

Learn More

 

 

Adams/Reese, Legislative Counsel for the Tennessee Fuel & Convenience Store Association (TFCA)

Adams/Reese is conducting twice weekly webinars, that are also available on demand.

Here is the schedule:

Adams/Reese March Webinar Schedule