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Businesses owners can get information and resources to reopen safely, protect their staff and customers, run their business, and get financial assistance during the COVID-19 health emergency.

As of June 15, 2021, the State's health guidance and New York Forward industry-specific guidelines—including social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screening, and contact information for tracing—are now lifted for most businesses and other commercial settings.

Learn more on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety page.

In addition to keeping their workers and customers safe during the COVID-19 crisis, employers must continue to follow the workplace protection laws in place for their employees.

By September 13 all municipal workers in NYC are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or they will need to be tested weekly for COVID-19. You should contact your Agency’s human resources department for more guidance.

Worker Rights

Sick Leave

Under NYC’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law, covered employees have the right to use safe and sick leave for the care and treatment of themselves or a family member. The federal and state governments have also passed laws to protect workers.  To learn more, visit the Paid Safe and Sick Leave page.

In addition to paid sick leave, employees may be eligible for 2 additional days of unpaid leave under NYC’s Temporary Schedule Change Law. For more information, visit the Temporary Work Schedule Change page.

Work Schedule Changes

Under the law, covered employees have a right to temporary changes to their work schedule for certain personal events. Learn more on the Temporary Work Schedule Change page.

Commuter Benefits Law

Most New York City companies with 20 or more full-time employees must provide pre-tax transit benefits. Learn more on the Commuter Benefits Law page. 

Work Protections for Specific Workers

Retail and Fast Food Workers

Retail and fast food employers must offer employees predictable work schedules and give advance notice of changes or cancelations. Learn more on the Fair Workweek Law page.

Grocery Store Workers

After a grocery store is sold, the former owner and new owner must notify the store's workers about the change in ownership and their employment rights. For more information, visit the Grocery Store Sale Requirements page.

Paid Care Workers

Paid care workers include homecare and domestic workers such as:

  • Nannies
  • Caregivers
  • Home health aides
  • Personal care aides
  • Home attendants
  • House cleaners

You can learn about paid care worker rights, legal responsibilities for employers and get help with questions or complaints on the Paid Care Worker or Employer Assistance page.

Freelance Workers

You can learn about freelance worker rights, legal responsibilities for employers, and get help with questions or complaints, including contract disputes and payment issues on the Freelance Worker and Hiring Party Assistance page.

COVID-19 Discrimination

Employers cannot harass or discriminate against workers because of fears or stigma around COVID-19, including harassment or discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, national origin, disability, or other protected classes.

If this is happening to you, you can report it to the NYC Commission on Human Rights. Learn more on the Discrimination page.

Discrimination

It is illegal for business owners or staff at places of public accommodations, such as grocery stores, medical facilities, or restaurants, to kick customers out, refuse service, or otherwise treat customers less well than other customers because of fears or stigma around COVID-19. This includes harassment or discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, national origin, disability, or other protected classes.

Learn more about the law and how to report discrimination on the Discrimination page.

Price Gouging

Price gouging is illegal for any personal or household good or any service that is needed to prevent or limit the spread of or treat the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

Examples include:

  • Cleaning products
  • Disinfectants (wipes, liquids, sprays)
  • Face masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Medicines

Learn more on the Overcharge page.

Other Rules and Regulations

You can get information about City, county, State, and Federal business regulations through the NYC Business website.

Under a new Local Law, restaurants can charge customers who eat on-site a COVID-19 Recovery Charge, which cannot be more than 10% of the total bill.

This charge does not apply to:

  • Food carts
  • Food stands
  • Food trucks
  • Fast food restaurants
  • Takeout, pick-up, or delivery orders

Restaurants must disclose this charge on menus or wherever they list food and beverage choices. The disclosure must make clear that the COVID-19 Recovery Charge is a surcharge and not a tip or gratuity for restaurant workers.

The bill and/or receipt must show the dollar amount of the surcharge.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 Recovery Charge.

To file a complaint about restaurants that do not follow the City’s guidelines, visit the Restaurant Surcharge Complaint page.

Visit the Business Financial Assistance page to learn how to access grants, loans, and other programs that can help you reopen and grow your business. 

You can get help running your business, including:

  • Reopening
  • Complying with regulations
  • Licensing, permits, and inspections
  • Legal assistance, including help reviewing or negotiating your commercial lease
  • Recruiting employees

Online

Visit the following pages for information:

By Phone

  • Agency: Small Business Services
  • Division: NYC Business Restart Hotline
  • Phone Number: (888) 727-4692
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM