Workforce Policy Update March 2022
March 8, 2022
Without fanfare, the New York State Department of Labor updated its website to announce the relaxation of some NY HERO Act provisions. Employers can now forego enforcing their workplace safety plans.
Private-sector employers are no longer required to implement their workforce safety plans. However, employers are still required to have an airborne infectious disease plan on hand. Copies must be provided to all employees and new hires. The plan should be included in the employee handbook and must also be posted in the workplace. Plans should be regularly updated. Resources to help you with your prevention plan are available here.
The timing of DOL’s decision ran counter to the Governor’s announcement last week. that she was extending New York’s COVID-19 State of Emergency declaration through April. It had been previously understood that an extension of the Emergency declaration would, in fact, extend full implementation of the HERO Act.
The state’s inadequate and confusing distribution of information regarding the HERO Act remains a burden for employers, and the BNP will continue to communicate this fact to state leaders.
Despite the confusion, employers should remain on guard for future COVID spikes. The state can trigger the HERO Act again in the future, which would require you to implement your workplace safety plan again. The BNP will update you immediately should this happen.
The HERO Act still allows for the formation of workplace safety committees, and employers must respond to workplace health and safety concerns raised by committees. More information on workplace safety committees is available here.
What’s it like to work a customer service job at a regional employer with immediate openings? Students from 716 Ministries/Trocaire and the Service Collaborative of WNY found out through a day spent visiting with hiring managers from Univera, National Fuel, Wegmans, and Independent Health.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership knows that hiring is the most common pain point amongst all employers right now, and will be for the foreseeable future. We created the Employ Buffalo Niagara Career Pathways Program to help regional companies attract and retain talent in this challenging job market.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership continues to expand the Career Pathways Project as a component of Employ Buffalo Niagara to help connect job seekers to regional careers with tangible growth opportunities. The project was launched in 2021, made possible by a generous grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr Foundation.
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli recently released a report assessing the state Department of Labor’s workforce development efforts. The report found significant overlap, duplication, gaps, and fragmentation in state workforce development programs and services. The audit found that New York offers over 500 workforce development programs and services, administered