New York Imposes New Workplace Safety Measures with Passage of the HERO Act

On May 5, 2021, New York enacted the New York Health and Essential Rights Act, or NY HERO Act ("the Act"), which amends the New York Labor Law, adding two sections aimed at curbing the spread of airborne infectious diseases (such as COVID-19, the flu, and other bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases) in the workplace. Section One of the bill requires employers to implement plans to combat the spread of infectious diseases, or to adopt a model plan promulgated by the New York State Commissioner of Labor (in consultation with the New York State Department of Health). Section Two requires most employers to create workplace safety committees with their employees. Most of the provisions of the Act take effect June 4, 2021 (Section Two is effective November 1, 2021), although it will likely take some time for the Commissioner of Labor to develop and promulgate model airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans for specific industries.

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