Under the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act), the New York State Department of Labor (NYDOL), in consultation with the New York State Department of Health, has developed a new Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard, a Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan, and various industry-specific model plans for prevention of airborne infectious disease.

As detailed in our prior advisories, the HERO Act mandates new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the purpose of protecting employees against exposure and disease during a future airborne infectious disease outbreak.

Industry-Specific Model Plans

In addition to a general model prevention plan, the NYDOL released industry-specific model prevention plans for the following industries:

Employer Action Item

Employers can choose to adopt the applicable model plan provided by the NYDOL or establish an alternative plan that meets or exceeds the standard's minimum requirements. The prevention plans must go into effect when an airborne infectious disease is designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health.

As of the publishing of this advisory, no such designation has been made for COVID-19 or any other airborne infectious disease. However, employers must still adopt a prevention plan within 30 days, as required by the law, in case there is an airborne infectious disease designation in the future.

Prior Advisories

The facts, laws, and regulations regarding COVID-19 are developing rapidly. Since the date of publication, there may be new or additional information not referenced in this advisory. Please consult with your legal counsel for guidance.

DWT will continue to provide up-to-date insights and virtual events regarding COVID-19 concerns. Our most recent insights, as well as information about recorded and upcoming virtual events, are available at www.dwt.com/COVID-19.