***Attention NESPA Members Located or Working In New York State***
New York State Hero Act Update
new requirements for employee protections against airborne disease
The New York State HERO Act became effective on July 4, 2021, relating to employer obligations to implement an airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan.
New York State Department of Labor (“DOL”) has now released guidance and model plans for these specific industries: Agriculture, construction, delivery services, domestic workers, emergency response, food service, manufacturing and industry, personal services, private education, private transportation, and retail
- The model plans are available here: https://dol.ny.gov/ny-hero-act
- Also note, the DOL website includes a generic model plan template: NY Hero Act, Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan
- It is important to note that the NYS HERO ACT statutory definition of workplace includes vehicles, yet an employer's airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan does not have to be posted in a vehicle if the vehicle is considered the employee's worksite (NYS Labor Law section 218-B).
New Prevention Standard
DOL has also issued an “Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard” (“the Standard”): The Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard (ny.gov)
Pursuant to the NYS HERO Act, employers must adopt a plan within 60 days from the issuance of the Standard. However, the DOL Standard is not date/time-stamped, and we are unaware of any DOL correspondence informing employers. For now, lacking any written date, a conservative estimate of the Standard issue date is July 1, 2021. We are working to determine the precise date the Standard was issued.
However, the current DOL webpage includes the following statement:
“Currently, while employers must adopt plans as required by the law, as of the date of this writing no designation has been made and plans are not required to be in effect.”
While the plans do not currently need to be in effect, our read is this does not eliminate an employer’s obligation to have a plan in place upon the effective date. Again, we are working to find clarity on the precise effective date for plans to be in place and will keep you closely informed.
NESPA will continue to keep you informed of the latest developments as the
NYS HERO ACT is implemented. In the meantime,
please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.