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HERO Act Model Plans Available Now

The model plans for the New York HERO Act are now available and can be found here. Of note is a statement from the Department of Labor (DOL) that the HERO Act does not apply to “any employee within the coverage of a temporary or permanent standard adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration setting forth applicable standards regarding COVID-19 and/or airborne infectious agents and diseases.” Those providers who fall under the guidance of the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) should follow the OSHA guidance and do not need to adopt a HERO Act model plan or follow other HERO Act requirements. All other private employers should follow HERO Act guidance.

Employers that are not covered by the OSHA ETS must establish a New York HERO Act airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan within 30 days of the model plans’ publication on July 7, 2021. Employers may either adopt the model plan as is or develop another plan that meets or exceeds the minimum standards of the model plan.

DOL has also stated that, “currently, while employers must adopt plans as required by the law, as of the date of this writing no designation has been made and plans are not required to be in effect.” This is consistent with the fact that the State has lifted the state of emergency; however, it does not eliminate an employer’s obligation to have a plan. Therefore, the plan need not be utilized at this time, but rather created for future use.

LeadingAge NY’s review of the HERO Act, including a comprehensive memo from Hinman Straub, may be found here. A memo from Hinman Straub on the applicability of the HERO Act may be found here.

Contact: Sara Neitzel, sneitzel@leadingageny.org, 518-573-9840