Fines of Up to $10K for Work on Non-Essential Construction

On March 27, Governor Cuomo announced a New York State fine would take effect on March 31. According to new DOB protocols, project teams in New York City may be fined up to $10,000 if found working on non-essential or non-emergency construction—or if workers on projects that are allowed to continue don't practice social distancing to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus. Essential construction includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters, according to the DOB. When halting a non-essential project before it is finished would cause an unsafe condition, that project would be considered emergency construction work, according to the agency.

At essential or emergency non-essential sites, if project teams can’t maintain social distances even on elevators or at meal, entry, and exit points, they “must close and enforcement will be provided by” state, local, and city governments, according to the DOB. The agency is "ready to enforce this critical ban on non-essential construction to help protect New Yorkers during this pandemic,” Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca said. “At the same time, we will be out in force inspecting sites so that emergency and necessary construction work continues in a safe manner. Anyone breaking these rules should expect stiff enforcement.”