September 13, 2021
Labor & Employment Alert
Employers must act now to comply with HERO Act after health commissioner issues designation regarding COVID-19.
On September 6, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul officially announced that the Commissioner of Health has designated COVID-19 “a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health,” thereby triggering several employer requirements under the HERO Act.
As discussed in our prior alerts, the HERO Act required all private employers to adopt an infectious disease exposure prevention plan by August 5, 2021. However, employers are not required to actually implement their plan under the Act unless and until “a highly contagious communicable disease is designated by the Commissioner of Health as presenting a serious risk of harm to the public health[.]”
Now that the Commissioner of Health has issued this designation regarding COVID-19, employers are required to:
The Commissioner of Health’s COVID-19 designation currently remains in effect until September 30, 2021, but may be extended beyond that date. Additionally, while there currently are no state guidance or regulations related to the HERO Act or employer obligations thereunder, the New York Department of Labor has indicated on its website that it will be publishing HERO Act-related regulations in the future. Employers should remain in contact with counsel over the coming days and weeks to ensure that the implementation of their airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans and additional obligations comply with the HERO Act’s requirements.
The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.
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