Automobile Dealer's Guide to Reopening And Sustaining Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

When New York's economy reopened, dealerships large and small had many considerations and concerns on how to operate safely and effectively. Dealerships are navigating in an everchanging climate and we know there are questions. Based on best practices and expert recommendations, NYSADA is providing the following guidelines and suggestions to assist members in efforts to open your doors and support and protect employees and customers as you navigate this changing landscape.  Know that your the New York State Automobile Dealers Association is here for you and beside you every step of the way. We thank you for your support and encourage you to contact us if you need anything. Get the latest information about COVID-19 on our resource page.

DISCLAIMER Please be advised that some or all of the information contained in this document may not be applicable to some businesses or places of work and may not include all information necessary for certain businesses and places of work. This document does not attempt to address any health, safety and other workplace requirements in place prior to the age of COVID-19. As COVID circumstances continue to evolve, so will the public health and safety recommendations and requirements, and as a result this document may not include all current governmental or health expert requirements and recommendations. We strongly advise that before implementing any of the practices and procedures contained herein, you carefully evaluate all and consult with your own legal counsel and other advisors regarding the legality, applicability and potential efficacy of this information in your place of business and to determine what if any other recommendations or requirements may apply to your business. NYSADA is not responsible for any circumstances arising out of, or related to, the adoption, or decision not to adopt, any of the practices or procedures contained in this guide.

 

COVID-19 News & Updates

NYS Paid Sick Leave – What Employers Need to Do

By Susan F. Bartkowski, Esq. - NYSADA Partner, Bellavia Blatt PC

NYSADA Staff 0 7

By now, you are all aware of the requirements of NYS Labor Law Section 196-b which requires every employer to provide its employees with paid sick   leave.   While your policies meet or exceed the minimum requirements of this new statute, you do need to be aware of the accrual and carryover provisions...

PPP Loan Update

By NYSADA Partner, Withum - Lou Young

NYSADA Staff 0 8

As we draw near or past the 24 week election period for many PPP loan recipients, many banks are beginning to open their portals for forgiveness applications. This, combined with the close of the 2019 tax filing year, has shifted tax professionals and dealership owners’ sights on tax planning and questions regarding the deductibility of the expenses associated with forgiveness. While it is true that the ...

WEEKLY UPDATE: 10/2/2020

NYSADA Staff 0 3

On September 28th, Governor Cuomo Signed an Executive Order Reminding International Travelers Coming from Level 2 & 3 Countries to Quarantine & Fill Out Travel Form....

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Re-Opening Resources

 
New York's micro-cluster strategy is designed to reduce the spread of COVID with the least disruption and the most targeted approach. Today, after 14 days of data monitoring, we are modifying existing cluster zones and adding new ones in Steuben and Chemung Counties — areas that have seen recent upticks in positive cases.

"Cluster zones" can be either Red, Orange or Yellow and each carries different restrictions. The boundaries are set based on actual COVID cases using sophisticated mapping software. Defined criteria determine when an area will enter or exit a zone. These changes, and the new cluster zones, take effect Thursday, October 22nd for impacted businesses and houses of worship. The changes take effect on Monday, October 25th for impacted schools. See all of the cluster zone maps here

 

As we identify small outbreaks this fall and winter, we will continue to take quick action to contain and eliminate them. New Yorkers have come too far and made too many sacrifices to risk going back. Wear a mask. Get tested. Stop the spread. 

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Governor Cuomo outlined a plan to reopen New York State. To read more about the metrics for reopening, business resources, how to protect yourself and more, please visit NY Forward.

Business Re-opening Safety Plan Template Once you have read your industry guidelines to reopen, be sure to sign the Business Affirmation.

The Covid-19 pandemic is still present and shows no signs of going away soon.  Each day, you require your employees to certify that they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and have not been in contact with a person who has COVID-19.  However, an employee may develop symptoms of COVID-19 at work or learn at work that they have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19.  The CDC strongly urges employers follow these guidelines when an employee tests positive for COVID-19, has symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19:

 

Employees who have symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home. Employees who develop symptoms outside of work should notify their supervisor and stay home.

 

Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider.

 

In most cases, you do not need to shut down your facility. But do close off any areas used for prolonged periods of time by the sick person:

  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize potential for other employees being exposed to respiratory droplets. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.

 

Follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations:

  • Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them.
  • To disinfect surfaces, use products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2external icon, the virus that causes COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
  • Be sure to follow the instructions on the product labels to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
  • You may need to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) depending on the setting and disinfectant product you are using.

 

In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, employers should determine which employees may have been exposed to the virus and need to take additional precautions:

Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider. Antibody test results should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.

 

In New York State, essential workers and their employers are expected to comply with previously issued DOH guidance regarding return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the employee had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19. Additionally, the employer will be required to assist with contact tracing and should assist State and Local Government in that regard.  The employee’s identity must remain confidential throughout this process.  If you have questions regarding this or other COVID-19 related issues, please contact us at info@dealerlaw.com.



 

Resources

COVID-19 Related Webinairs

 

NYSADA COVID-19 Discussion Forum Discusses Calculating Occupancy Rate and More...

NYSADA Partners Hermes Fernandez and Caitlin Anderson of Bond Schoeneck and King, Susan Bartkowski and Len Bellavia of Bellavia Blatt PC and Lou Young of Withum participated in a member forum discussion answering COVID-19 related questions in real time.     Slides     Handouts    

 

Dr. David Holtgrave Leads Off COVID-19 Discussion Forum with Public Health Update

Dr. David Holtgrave, Dean of the University of Albany School of Public Health, gave listeners a quick public health update. Following, NYSADA Partners Hermes Fernandez of Bond Schoeneck and King, Kevin Timson and Susan Bartkowski of Bellavia Blatt PC and Lou Young of Withum participated in a member forum discussion answering COVID-19 related questions in real time.

 

Weekly COVID-19 Panel 6/19/2020

NYSADA Partner Panelists will provide a review of state developments including: Phase II requirements, review of  PPP loan forgiveness extensions & more  
View Slides   EZ Application   Bloomberg Article   Revised PPP Rules

 

Review of Phase 2 Re-Opening Compliance Guidelines for Vehicle Sales Leases and Rentals

NYSADA Legislative Counsels Caitlin Anderson and Hermes Fernandez of Bond Schoeneck and King review the State’s Phase 2 Re-Opening Guidance for businesses involved in Vehicle Sales, Leases and Rentals.  View Slides

 

Loan Forgivness and the PPP Flexibility Act

Louis Young of the Withum Group discusses the new changes to the PPP law and put the various provisions in context for Auto Dealers.
  Slides     Forgivness App     Revised PPP Rules

 

Re-engaging Your Employees and Opening the Workplace – Part 2

NYSADA Partner, Steve LaBonte of the Labonte Law Group and Dr. Eileen Franko, Director of the Division of Safety and Health with the NYS Department of Labor address important issues related to the reopening of your dealership businesses. View Slides     Letter To Staff   Rehire Policy    Rehire Letter