Essential Business Enforcement in New York State

Many of us have seen the messaging recently encouraging employees to call the NYS Attorney General or NYS Department of Labor if they felt their employer was violating labor law or they were working and their employer was not essential. We also understand that there are local municipalities that may be pursuing the same type of information. We wanted to again provide you with the material and information you need in case you are visited or have questions from employees.

NYS has not designated the overall printing industry as an “essential business” at this point. There are a number of printing firms that have received a designation of essential, based on their product produced, primarily labels and packaging. Most of these companies received specific designations from Empire State Development through ESD’s appeal process.

We continue to contact various state governmental entities including the Governor’s office, Empire State Development and various state legislators, asking them to review this decision.

At this point, NYS has indicated that the printing industry, as a whole, is not deemed as essential. However, if you are printing for an essential business, you are essential at that point. They make special note that companies in this situation must adhere to recommendations to safeguard their employees and they are not permitted to do “non-essential” printing.

You should be prepared if you are contacted by a state or local official to demonstrate that you have either been designated as “essential” or if you have not been officially recognized, you are printing for a business or entity on the essential list.

Here are some links for information to assist you in preparing:
FAQ’s published by ESD, # 11 discusses non-essential businesses doing work for essential businesses
List of essential NYS businesses
We suggest that companies engaged in production have the following available to show any governmental entity making inquiry –
1) Copy of the email from ESD advising that you are “essential, if applicable
2) Print a copy of the FAQ document referenced above
3) Print a copy of the list of essential businesses and highlight segments that may match your customer mix. This indicates that you have reviewed the information and understand the circumstance.
4) Save some samples of any “essential work” that you have done to show any inquiring entity
Tim Freeman, President
Print & Graphic Communications Association
Office: (716) 691-3211
Cell: (716) 983-3826

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