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Compliance Corner: New York Hero Act
As a service to our clients operating in New York, we’re shedding light on the NY HERO Act and what it means for your business.
On May 5, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act) into law. The law mandates extensive workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the NY HERO Act is to protect employees against exposure and disease during a airborne infectious disease outbreak, like the current pandemic.
What is it:
- NY HERO requires the state to create a model standard to protect workers from exposure to airborne diseases, like Covid-19.
- This law requires all workplaces to create their own workplace plan, either by adopting the model standard, or creating a stronger plan.
Who is covered:
- All Private Sector Workers are covered by the standard, including misclassified workers such as gig workers, day laborers, and independent contractors.
- Exposure prevention plans must meet minimum requirements set by the state covering health screenings, face coverings, PPE, hand hygiene, disinfecting equipment, social distancing, isolation, quarantine, and ventilation.
How is it enforced:
- The DOL or Attorney General can fine employers who violate the model standard.
- Workers can sue employers in court who refuse to fix dangerous working conditions that could cause exposure to airborne diseases.
- Workers have the right to refuse work in unsafe conditions.
- Workers are protected from retaliation.
How are workers notified of the plan:
- All workers must receive a verbal overview of the plan.
- Workers must receive a written copy of the plan in the language that the worker identifies as their primary language.
- On July 5th, The DOL, in consultation with DOH, creates a model airborne infectious disease exposure plan for specific industries as well as a general model standard.
- BY August 3rd, all workplaces must adopt their own plans.
- By September 2nd, all workers must receive a copy and a verbal overview of the plan.
- By November 1st, workers with 10 or more workers must be allowed to form health and safety committees.
We encourage our clients to review the attached NY Hero Act standard outline and create their own infectious disease exposure prevention plan. For disease exposure prevention plan models specific to your company industry please go to: https://dol.ny.gov/ny-hero-act
If you have additional questions or need assistance with completing your plan, please reach out to our Risk Management Team, at email@example.com.
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