Memo For Domestic Employers On Executive Order 202.6 By Governor Andrew Cuomo

The Domestic Employers, we acknowledge that we are at the height of the COVID-19 crisis as cases continue to rise. It is important during this time that we do everything we can to adhere to Governor Cuomo’s guidelines for the safety of our families, our domestic worker’s safety and most of all for the safety of all New Yorkers. Your assistance is needed to help flatten the curve and bring us back to normality as soon as possible. These guidelines which we suggest are meant to help you through this difficult moment. It is important to remember to continue having a conversation with the person you employ about the risks, consequences of exposure and safety measures being taken. These are not one size fits all guidelines. They can always be tailored to fit you and the person you employ specific situation. Guidelines provided by Hand in Hand and NDWA include:

  • How Executive Order 202.6 mandate affects you and your domestic worker

  • What employers who are essential workers need to know

  • Considerations on how to keep your domestic worker if you are losing income

  • What you should NOT do

March 22, 2020

Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network New York National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) New York

The following is a response to questions and concerns raised by domestic employers, members of Hand in Hand, and seen in social media channels based on the Executive Order 202.6 .

Hand in Hand and NDWA aim to support domestic employers and domestic workers to have more clarity on what to do after the release of the Executive Order 202.6. It’s a challenging moment for everyone and this mandate raises some confusion about the responsibilities of domestic employers and domestic workers in relation to nannies and house cleaners. Hand in Hand and NDWA developed these recommendations to ensure that the response to the Executive Order specifically and this crisis in general does not exacerbate the vulnerable low-wage, immigrant women of color workforce in the wake of this pandemic.

Therefore we encourage domestic employers to follow these recommendations and be vocal about them to make this the norm and not the exception under the current crisis. For additional guidance go to this government site

What does the Executive Order 202.6 mandate?

Starting Sunday, March 22nd at 8pm NYC local government will start enforcing Executive Order 202.6 restricting operations of businesses considered non-essential and gatherings of 10 or more people. Employers who force employees who are non-essential workers to work may be subjected to a civil penalty in New York. Domestic workers, such as nannies and housecleaners, who are not providing essential care or services are not considered essential workers and thus, must stay home.

We consider that:

  • Domestic workers who provide elder care and home health care are considered “essential workers”. 

  • Domestic workers may be designated as an “essential function” if they provide child care services to both of their employers they are considered “essential workers”.

  • Childcare services refer to services at home-based spaces or private businesses where essential workers drop children off.

  • Nannies are employees and not a business.

While childcare and home care for people with disabilities and older adults is not prohibited under Executive Order 202.6, this new rule is aimed at minimizing contact and spread of the virus and exposure and/contact with people should be taken very seriously.  

If you are a nanny employer who is an “essential worker” 

  1. Please check out Hand in Hand’s toolkit on