COVID-19 Update
September 11, 2020

NYS Travel Advisory Update
On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo announced the addition of four states to the travel advisory. Delaware, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia now meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were removed from the list. Chapters should continue to review the list and advise employees of the current designated states. The current list can be found here.

Senate and Assembly Hearings on COVID-19 Impact in the I/DD Community
As noted on Tuesday, The Arc New York delivered testimony at a virtual hearing held by the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health on the impact of COVID-19 on individuals with either a mental illness or an intellectual or developmental disability. The Arc New York called on the state to deliver the necessary resources, policy changes, innovation and partnership to ensure quality supports and programs for New Yorkers with I/DD are sustained into the future. You can view a recording of the hearing here. The Arc New York testified as part of panel 7, which begins at the 4 hour 54 minute mark. 

Senator David Carlucci, Chair of the New York State Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities also released a summary report from the August 26 virtual forum hosted by his office. The forum focused on the impact of COVID-19 on individuals with I/DD, their families, and essential service providers. A recording of the full forum can be found here

OPWDD Webinar September 17 
The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities announced an upcoming webinar on September 17 at 9:30 a.m. The webinar will discuss strategies for supporting individuals in making informed choices about returning to in-person day services. Registration can be completed here

USDOL Guidance on Tracking Compensable Hours of Remote Employees
On August 24, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance to assist employers in complying with their obligation to track compensable hours of employees working in remote or telework situations. This guidance applies to all employees working remotely for any reason. 

According to the guidance, one method of exercising reasonable diligence is to provide a reporting structure through which employees can report unscheduled time worked. It also confirms that it is the employer's responsibility to prevent employees from performing work outside of their working hours. An employee who violates this rule is still entitled to be paid for the hours worked, but is subject to disciplinary action from their employer. The guidance does go on to state that if an employee fails to report unscheduled hours worked, an employer has no obligation to undergo reasonable efforts to discover the unreported time. The full guidance can be found here

This and all related updates will be cataloged on The Arc New York COVID-19 Resource Page for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.

Josh Christiana, Associate Executive Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations

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