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NYS DOL Releases Important HERO Act Templates & Standards

NYS Releases Important HERO Act Templates & Standards

The New York State Department of Labor has released a series of documents and templates for employers to follow in order to be compliant with the Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act) passed earlier this year.

The releases are as follows:

Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Standard

This document establishes the minimum standards for your company's exposure prevention plan and controls you must put in place to limit exposure to an airborne infectious disease in your workplace. It also details the anti-retaliation rules, which guarantee employees' rights to report HERO Act violations at their company, express safety concerns, and refuse to work in a workplace that they reasonably believe puts them or their co-workers in danger of exposure to an airborne infectious disease. 

  Download the Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Standard


Model Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Plan

Companies may adopt this plan, or one of the 11 Industry-specific templates the DOL has created (see below) as their Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Plan, or use it to develop one of their own. While all employers with workplaces in New York State must have a plan in place and communicated to their employees, it does not need to go into effect unless the NYS Commissioner of Health designates a particular disease as a “highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health.”

  Download the Model Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Plan


Industry-Specific Templates

The NYS Department of Labor has developed downloadable, industry-specific model airborne infectious disease prevention plans for the following industries:

The HERO Act requires employers to adopt a written plan within 30 days of the release of these documents. Therefore, all employers should have a written plan in place no later than Thursday, August 5, 2021. Employers then have 30 days after adoption to communicate the plan to their employees. There must be a verbal review of the plan as well as posting the plan in the workplace and included in your employee handbook. The deadline for communicating the existence of your plan to your employees is Saturday, September 4, 2021.

There is a second part of the HERO Act. Labor Law §27-d will be effective November 1, 2021 and will require employers with “at least 10” employees to permit the establishment of workplace safety committees to address airborne infectious disease in the workplace. The Department of Labor will be promulgating guidance/regulations regarding the implementation of these committees over the summer.

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