(WBNG) -- Governor Kathy Hochul announced Monday that the commissioner of health designated COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health under New York's HERO Act.
The HERO Act requires every employer in New York State to mandate workplace health and safety precautions in response to the pandemic.
In a news release, Hochul's Office said all employers are required to adopt a safety plan and implement it for all airborne infectious diseases designated by the New York State Department of Health.
Employers are given the option of adopting a model safety plan created by the State Department of Labor or creating their own plan that is in compliance with the standards brought forth by the HERO Act.
You can view the industry-specific templates for employers on the Department of Labor's website.
Under the act, employers will need to address safety measures. The safety plan will need to be given to all employees and will need to be visible at the workplace. Safety measures include:
- Employee health screenings
- Social distancing requirements
- Workplace hygiene stations
- Workplace cleaning protocols
- Building airflow technology
Hochul's Office said the aim of the HERO Act is to ensure businesses are prepared with the proper resources to protect employees from airborne diseases.
Additionally, the HERO Act includes anti-retaliation protections for employees that prohibit discrimination or adverse actions taken against workers for following the rules put in place by the plan.