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.
BNP has stepped in to assist the City of Buffalo in their efforts to organize the generous support offered by the business community. Updated 5.20.22 With the establishment of the two funds described below, interested donors are encouraged to contact the appropriate fund directly to provide support.
We are pleased to introduce Seth Piccirillo, BNP’s Director of Economic Development as our latest Staff Spotlight. Seth’s role is to help our members increase their competitiveness and ability to thrive in the local, national and international economy. Learn a little bit more about Seth in this brief Q&A.
We are pleased to introduce BNP’s Senior Manager, Member Engagement – Nancy McNamara as our latest Staff Spotlight.
Nancy’s role is to engage our members in the services and resources offered by the BNP that offers them value and enable their businesses to thrive.
Governor Kathy Hochul has issued an Executive Order extending New York’s state of emergency declaration for COVID-19. The state of emergency was scheduled to expire today, but Hochul extended the declaration through April 15.