NY HERO Act  - An Update

NY HERO Act - An Update

February 28, 2024

New York HERO Act - An Update

The New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act) was signed into law on May 5, 2021. The law mandates extensive new 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 future airborne infectious disease outbreak. 

Under this law, the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL), in consultation with the NYS Department of Health, has developed an Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard, a Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan, and various industry-specific model plans for the prevention of airborne infectious disease. Employers can choose to adopt the applicable policy template/plan provided by NYS DOL or establish an alternative plan that meets or exceeds the standard’s minimum requirements.

The airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans must go into effect when an airborne infectious disease is designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health. When designated, employers are required to provide a copy of the adopted airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan and post the same in a visible and prominent location within each worksite. Templates and resources are available below. 

On March 17, 2022, the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health under the HERO Act ended. Private sector employers are no longer required to implement their workforce safety plans. Inquiries about the HERO Act can be emailed to Airborne.Infectious.Diseases@labor.ny.gov.

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Should you have any questions on this or any other safety topic, please contact Ray Sullivan at raymonds@friedlandergroup.com

For more information on the HERO Act, visit https://dol.ny.gov/ny-hero-act.