COVID-19 Resources

Below you will find information that businesses can use to educate themselves and their employees to make informed decisions on continuity during this uncertain time.  This page will continue to be updated as more information is released.

Bolaños Lowe PLLC Provides ROBEX Members COVID-19 Leave Legislation Update

February 22nd, 2021

With the likelihood of a new federal COVID-19 relief package passing Congress in the coming weeks, now is a good time for employers to review the impact of the expiration of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and the recent updated guidance from the New York State Department of Labor on New York’s COVID-19 Paid Family Leave Benefits.  Because New York’s COIVD-19 paid leave provisions are still in effect, and for the time being employers may voluntarily continue offering FFCRA leave benefits, it remains critical to understand the interplay between the federal and New York legislation.

Click here to read the full update

US Department of Labor issues stronger workplace guidance on coronavirus

January 29, 2021

New OSHA guidance seeks to mitigate, prevent viral spread in the workplace

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers implement a coronavirus protection program and better identify risks which could lead to exposure and contraction. Last week, President Biden directed OSHA to release clear guidance for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure.

Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” provides updated guidance and recommendations, and outlines existing safety and health standards. OSHA is providing the recommendations to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.

Click here to read the full press release


202-663-4191 or

December 16, 2020

Contains Q&A Section on Vaccinations

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today posted an updated and expanded technical assistance publication addressing questions arising under the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The publication, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” now includes a new section providing information to employers and employees about how a COVID-19 vaccination interacts with the legal requirements of the the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). This includes issues pertaining to medical pre-screening questions and employer accommodations for those unable to receive a vaccination.

In response to inquiries from the public, the EEOC has provided resources on its website related to the pandemic in an employment context. The agency will continue to monitor developments and provide assistance to the public as needed.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

Workplace COVID-19 Resources

12/1/2020 – “If you have been following any of the news lately you know positive COVID cases and rates are increasing not only in portions of New York state but throughout the country.  As governments, hospitals and employers begin to prepare for another wave of COVID cases and resulting hospitalizations, it is not too early to revisit the safety procedures and protocols which have been developed just a few short months ago.

OSHA can aid in this planning and preparation.  As we have done previously, the attached PDF file digests the information that we have shared over the last several weeks about the resources on OSHA’s webpage, and those of several other agencies and organizations. We have included a list of general COVID-19 resources grouped by agency, a section with resources on reopening workplaces, cloth face coverings and respiratory protection, and additional industry-specific COVID-19 resources grouped by industry.” – Nick Donofrio (Compliance Assistance Specialist – New York Regional Office)

Read More –

Workplace COVID-19 Resources -12-1-20-Final

NYS Provides Guidance on COVID-19 Cluster Guidance

Builders Exchange Members,

As you know, some upstate counties, including Monroe County, have micro-clusters. Monroe county is now in Yellow. A chart showing what occurs in each stage is below.

Construction is not affected in any of the phases.

Specific guidance regarding construction as essential can be found here: Construction is item 9.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need additional information.

Thank you!

Builders Exchange of Rochester

Executive Order from Governor Cuomo

Update 4/9/20

Text of Executive Order Relating to Construction

  1. Construction
    All non-essential construction must safely shut down, except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone, but only to the point that it is safe to suspend work).

Essential construction may proceed, to the extent that:

  • the construction is for, or your business supports, roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, or public or private schools;
  • the construction is for affordable housing, as defined as construction work where either (i) a minimum of 20% of the residential units are or will be deemed affordable and are or will be subject to a regulatory agreement and/or a declaration from a local, state, or federal government agency or (ii) where the project is being undertaken by, or on behalf of, a public housing authority;
  • the construction is necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants of a structure;
  • the construction is necessary to continue a project if allowing the project to remain undone would be unsafe, provided that the construction must be shut down when it is safe to do so;
  • the construction is for projects in the energy industry in accordance with Question No. 14 in the FAQ at:;
  • the construction is for existing (i.e. currently underway) projects of an essential business; or
  • the construction work is being completed by a single worker who is the sole employee/worker on the job site.

At every site, it is required that the personnel working on the site maintain an appropriate social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exits.  Sites that cannot maintain appropriate social distancing, as well as cleaning/disinfecting protocols must close. Enforcement will be conducted by state and local governments, including fines up to $10,000 per violation.

Construction may continue solely with respect to those employees that must be present at the business location/construction site in support of essential business activities. No other employees/personnel shall be permitted to work in-person at the business location/construction site.  Any other business activities being completed that are not essential are still subject to the restrictions provided by Executive Order 202.

As noted above, local governments, including municipalities and school districts, are allowed to continue construction projects at this time as government entities are exempt from these essential business restrictions. However, to the greatest extent possible, local governments should postpone any non-essential projects and only proceed with essential projects when they can implement appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols. Essential projects should be considered those that have a nexus to health and safety of the building occupants or to support the broader essential services that are required to fulfill the critical operations of government or the emergency response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

COVID-19 SBA Disaster Loans

Here is a link to a resource from the NYS Division of Small Business & Technology Development:

COVID-19 SBA Disaster Loans

New York State COVID-19 Legislation including Paid Sick Leave Bill

Guidance on NYS COVID-19 Legislation and Governor Executive Orders

Federal COVID-19 Legislation: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Guidance on how to navigate the Federal COVID-19 Legislation

Upcoming Webinars – Click link to register: 

Monroe County Loan Programs

  • City of Rochester Kiva Loan Program
    • The City of Rochester has announced changes to the Kiva loan program available to businesses located in the City of Rochester. The changes are as follows:
        • Zero-interest loan maximum increased to $15,000
        • Elimination of some eligibility issues. Follow link above for additional details
        • Implementation of a 6-month grace period repayment schedule
  • Monroe County Zero-Interest Small Business Assistance Loan Program
    • In response to the current COVID-19 crisis Monroe County has established a loan program for small businesses. Highlights include:
        • Zero-interest loans up to $10,000, which may be used to support operations and employment
        • Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees are eligible
        • No application cost