HERO Act Update

It is time to make sure that you have your Health and Essential Rights (HERO) Act “house” in order.

Recent news reports of a Covid resurgence make it more important than ever that employers complete their HERO Act compliance strategy. As we have reported previously, the central purpose of the HERO Act is to have effective safety protections and related plans in place and ready to activate in the event of a future airborne infectious disease outbreak.

Compliance with the law is relatively straightforward. Here is what you need to know now.

Adopt your industry and/or work site specific Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan. The Department of Labor (NYS DOL) has worked with the NYS Department of Health to develop a generic model plan and various industry specific model plans for the prevention of airborne infectious disease. (Download the Model Plan for Manufacturing and Industrial manufacturing-and-industry-exposure-prevention-plan-p765g.) Employers are free to adopt the policy template/plan matching their industry or adopt their own plan that meets or exceeds the State’s model. In either case, unionized employers should, at a minimum, notify and, in some cases bargain with, their union representatives with respect to the applicable plan.

The time is now. Employers must adopt their plan no later than August 5, 2021. Thereafter, employers must let their employees know the details of the plan adopted 30 days after, and no later than September 4, 2021. Keep in mind that while employers must adopt plans as required by the law, there is currently no Health Department designation of an airborne disease emergency. Such a designation is necessary to require actual implementation of the plan. That is, under the Act, the adopted plan becomes effective when so designated by the state.

Detailed information on the New York HERO Act Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention standard as well as model and industry specific Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plans can be found here. Members with remaining questions on their HERO Act compliance strategy should contact Association president Tim Freeman at tim@printcommunications.org or Association Council Nick Fiorenza at njfiorenza@ferrarafirm.com.

Tim Freeman, President
Print & Graphic Communications Association
Office: (716) 691-3211
Cell:  (716) 983-3826


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