New York Passes Health and Essential Rights Act

Tip of the Month - Employment and Labor Law

As reported in a previous Alert, on May 5, 2021, New York State passed the Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act), requiring, among other things, that New York employers adopt airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans (Safety Plans) within 30 days after the New York State Department of Labor’s (DOL) publication of industry-specific model safety plans. On July 6, 2021, the DOL released its model plans, thereby establishing an August 5, 2021 deadline for New York employers to either (i) adopt the applicable model plan or (ii) develop an alternate Safety Plan that meets or exceeds the applicable model plan’s requirements. Importantly, while employers must adopt and distribute their Safety Plans to employees, the Safety Plans need only be activated when the New York State Commissioner of Health designates an airborne infectious disease as a “highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health.” Currently, no such designation is in effect. Employers should promptly review the DOL’s model plans and adopt or create a customized Safety Plan on or before August 5, 2021.



pursuant to New York DR 2-101(f)

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