Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce - COVID-19 and the Workplace
Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Updates
Questions & Answers About COVID-19 (Fox News)
NYS Empire State Development Workforce Reduction Guidance
NYS Department of Agriculture COVID-19 Updates

Thank you to those who were able to join our calls last Friday. We wanted to send you information on some of the questions that were asked during the calls. While the Senate legislation isn’t finalized, once we know more we will share that information with you as well.


Unemployment Insurance

  • The U.S. Department of Labor’s guidance on unemployment insurance provides significant flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide UI benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where: 
    • An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work; 
    • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and 
    • An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member. In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.
  • Extension of benefits:
    • Laid-off workers are allowed to receive regular unemployment benefits for as long as 26 weeks in New York.
    • After exhausting those benefits, individuals in states with rising unemployment can qualify for an additional 13 weeks of benefits through the Extended Benefits program. New York state has not yet qualified for these Extended Benefits, but will post the information online once it is available.
  • Eligible employees: Currently, the self-employed and independent contractors are not eligible for unemployment benefits. However, discussions are currently happening in Congress to temporarily expand benefits to these individuals.
  • Resources:


Paid Sick and Family Leave

  • Both the federal government and New York state are requiring certain employers to provide paid sick and family leave to their employees.
  • The question was raised regarding how the federal tax credit will interact with the state requirements
    • Answer: to the extent that the two requirements overlap, the federal tax credit will cover the costs imposed by the state requirements. However, where the state requirements go beyond the federal requirements (whether in time of leave of wage amount covered), the federal tax credit will not cover those expenses.


Essential Businesses

  • Governor Cuomo announced an executive order implanting a policy that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22.
  • Guidance from New York state regarding “essential businesses” can be found here.


“Phase 3” Update

  • The White House, House of Representatives, and the Senate are currently in discussions to finalize a third piece of legislation to provide additional relief and resources to individuals, businesses, and state and local governments. These discussions are very fluid, and we will be sure to provide additional information as soon as we can.



Thank you for all you are doing in our communities.

Chautauqua County Department of Human Resources

Dear Agencies,


In a continuing effort to support all of your agencies during this unprecedented time, the Chautauqua County Department of Human Resources will be closed for public access and working with limited staff. We have also postponed our Chautauqua County Civil Service Exams scheduled to be held in Mayville, NY on March 21, 2020 and March 28, 2020. At this time we are unable to provide an alternate test date but will keep you updated with any new information.


Please contact Francine Emley via email or phone at or 753-4684 for any needs at this time. We will make every effort to address those needs in a timely manner.


Thank you,


Jessica Wisniewski, Director

Department of Human Resources

Chautauqua County

Congressman Tom Reed

Good afternoon friends,

We wanted to reach out and provide you all with the most current information regarding assistance for small businesses and individuals that you can be shared with all of your contacts. As additional resources are determined or availalbe, we will send follow-ups. We are all in this together. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Thank you.


Alison M. Hunt

District Director

Congressman Tom Reed

89 West Market Street

Corning, NY 14830