3.21.22 COVID Bulletin: State Reverses Course on HERO Act
March 21, 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.
Worldwide, companies throughout every business sector are dealing with significant supply chain challenges. The Buffalo Niagara region is certainly no exception. Increased costs, labor shortages, logistical breakdowns, and a host of other issues are impacting all aspects of the economy from manufacturer to customer.
Last night, New York voters selected party nominees for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Erie County Clerk.
Primaries for U.S. House and State Senate seats will be held on August 23. No Assembly candidates in Erie or Niagara counties faced primaries.
In the next few months, prepare to receive a much higher bill for unemployment insurance (UI). The BNP spent over a year warning state leaders that this was coming. The state failed to act, and now, the chickens are coming home to roost.
One set of primary elections will take place on Tuesday, June 28. Early voting is open now. Look up your polling place and sample ballot here: (Erie County) (Niagara County). Note that primary elections are only open to voters registered in that party.