Here’s how to become an essential business during COVID-19

Jeff Slawson, WKBW
4:00 AM, Apr 01, 2020 Updated: 5:36 AM, Apr 01, 2020


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In New York State, 100% of the non-essential workforce must be working from home.

It’s a mandate that can be punishable if not followed.

“Monetary fines of up to $5,000 per violation and then, in addition, the Attorney General’s office can go and file an injunction to get your business to shut down” Craig Bucki from Phillips Lytle LLP said.

For a business not marked as essential, there is recourse.

On the Empire State Development website a business can submit a request for designation as an essential business.

That can happen here.

The business will need to prove why they’re essential.

If Empire State Development does not believe that to be the case, a business can bring it to court.

The only way that the non-essential work is being imposed is through the Attorney General’s office.

They have a hot line that employees can call to notify if their company is working when they shouldn’t be.

You can contact the hotline here: (212) 416-8700 or email