New York Amends HERO Act to Provide Clarity to Employers and Adjust Deadlines
Last month Governor Cuomo signed new COVID-19 related legislation which amended the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (the “HERO Act” or the “Act”). The amendment was made to provide clarity to employers regarding their obligations under the HERO Act as well as to make clear certain deadlines associated with the Act.
New York State initially enacted the HERO Act with an effective date of June 4, 2021, to help protect employees from airborne disease. The HERO Act directs State agencies to create clear, enforceable health and safety standards that private employers must follow to keep their employees safe. It also gives workers a voice in the process, so employers aren’t the sole arbiters of workplace safety from disease. A link to the law can be found here (Click here).
On June 11, 2021, Governor Cuomo amended the HERO act to now provide:
- The time allotted for the New York Department of Labor (the “NYDOL”) to publish its model disease prevention protocols was extended to July 5, 2021 (click here for model protocols);
- Employers are now required to either adopt the NYDOL’s model protocols or establish an alternative plan that equals or exceeds the minimum standards established under the model protocols. Employers are given thirty (30) days after the release of the model protocols to adopt or establish their own protocols;
- Employers are required to provide employees with a copy of their disease prevention protocols within thirty (30) days after the employer’s adoption of said protocols and thereafter within fifteen (15) days after reopening from a closure that was the result of an airborne infectious disease; and
- Employers with at least ten (10) employees are required to create at least one (1) workplace safety committee per worksite no later than November 1, 2021.
The HERO Act is a broad sweeping legislation impacting New York employers. We have only touched upon certain aspects of the Act here. For a better understanding of this new legislation we encourage you to go the website linked above and/or seek competent legal counsel to ensure you are in compliance.
Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest state and federal employment laws. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203.454.0560.