NY Employers Face Extensive New Mandates Under the HERO Act

April 27, 2021 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

The Legislature has passed a bill that would require all employers in New York state to adopt comprehensive workplace policies outlining basic obligations related to combating airborne infectious diseases.  The bill is currently before the Governor. 

The HERO Act (S1034B) requires that all New York employers, regardless of their size, adopt minimum policies which address, among other things employee health screenings; availability of PPE; regular cleaning of office equipment and effective social distancing for employees and customers which includes consideration of flexible work hours and remote services. 

Employers would be prohibited from taking action against employees who raise concerns regarding violations of these policies and could face both legal and regulatory actions for policy violations.  The Commissioner of Health will be responsible for developing model policies which take into account industry specific concerns; presumably this means that policies adopted for banks and credit unions would be different than policies adopted for restaurants, for example.  Your credit union will have the option of either adopting these model policies or developing its own policy that meets the requirements of this legislation.    

A second part of the bill creates a framework for a joint employer-employee workplace safety committee applicable to all employers with ten or more employees.  This committee will be empowered to review and comment on workplace safety concerns.  Selecting this committee won’t be as straightforward as you might think.  Employee members of the committee shall be selected by, and from among, non-supervisory employees. Committees shall be co-chaired by a representative of the employer and non-supervisory employees. 

As drafted, it is not entirely clear when these mandates will take effect.  The bill is effective thirty days after it is signed, but the Health Department will have to develop model policies.  What is clear is that employers will have six months to get the workplace committees up and running. 

Go West Young Man

The Census confirmed what we have all known for a while: people are moving to the mountain west.   This will result in a further diminishment of New York’s political power.  The state is slated to lose a Congressional District.

Entry filed under: COVID-19, New York State, Political. Tags: , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., Senior Vice President, General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association. In addition, although Henry strives to give his readers useful and accurate information on a broad range of subjects, many of which involve legal disputes, his views are not a substitute for legal advise from retained counsel.

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