As previously reported, under the New York State Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act) (which was signed into law on May 5, 2021), the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), in cooperation with the New York State Department of Health, published The Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard (Standard) on July 6, 2021.
The Standard requires most private employers, regardless of size, with worksites located in New York State, to establish a written exposure prevention plan (Plan) designed to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to airborne infectious agents in the event of an outbreak of airborne infections disease.
Employers may choose to adopt the applicable model policy provided by the DOL or establish an alternative plan that meets or exceeds the standard’s minimum requirements.
While employers were required to adopt a Plan by August 5, 2021, and distribute such plans to all employees by September 4, 2021, such plans were not required to be in effect until the designation of an airborne infectious agent or disease.
Employer Action Required
On September 6, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease under the HERO Act.
In response, covered employers must: