On Labor Day 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Commissioner of Health had designated COVID-19 a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under New York State’s HERO Act.

What does this mean? Every New York employer – and that term is defined very broadly – now must implement its Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Policy and Plan becaue of COVID-19.

What Should You Do? Either call your trusted lawyer or HR professional, or ensure that your Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Policy and Plan is now operational. Employers can adopt a model safety plan as crafted by the New York State Department of Labor, or develop their own safety plan in compliance with HERO Act standards.

What If I Haven’t Gotten Around to Writing My Policy & Plan? Get to it. Now, not tomorrow. And ensure that you implement it immediately.

What If I Don’t Have Time?  Make the time. Employees and others can force you to have this plan operating. And if you don’t, the law gives them the absolute right to sue you for damages. You don’t want that to happen.

What About the Details? A few important steps to take right away:

  • Write the policy and plan
  • Include it in your Employee Manual
  • Post it visibly at the workplace
  • Get it into every employee’s hands (and document their receipt)

If you need help, give us a call at The Coppola Firm, 716.536.4442. We’re here to help.