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NY HERO Act now effective, requires employers to develop COVID-19 workplace safety plan

Act mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted September 10, 2021

On September 6, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state’s commissioner of health has designated COVID-19 an Airborne Infectious Disease under New York State’s HERO Act. The Act requires all employers to adopt a workplace safety plan and implement it for all airborne infectious diseases designated by the New York State Department of Health.

Employers can adopt a model safety plan as crafted by the New York State Department of Labor or develop their own plan in compliance with HERO Act standards. Plans must address a number of safety measures, including but not limited to:

  • employee health screenings,
  • masking and social distancing requirements,
  • workplace hygiene stations,
  • workplace cleaning protocol,
  • quarantine protocol, and
  • building airflow technology.

Employers must distribute their plan to all employees and post it in a visible and prominent location within each worksite.

The HERO Act also includes anti-retaliation protections for employees who make a complaint about an employer’s failure to comply with the law or the adopted plan.

This article was written by Rachel Krubsack of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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