The NY HERO Act is Finally in Full Effect!

On September 5th - Labor Day - New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul designated the COVID-19 pandemic a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk to the public health under New York State's HERO Act, which requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans in the event of an airborne infectious disease, helping to prevent workplace infections.

For over a year, CWA members joined other labor and community groups to demand stronger safety standards and protections for workers, and after seeing the bill passed by the New York State Legislature earlier this year, it’s a huge victory to finally see it enacted this month.

“We lost John, an X-ray tech, at this time last year to COVID,” said CWA Local 1168’s Sarah Buckley during a recent press conference this spring following the bill’s passage by the NYS Assembly. “He had a dry sense of humor - always took the stairs, hardly ever took time off and loved to take his grandsons to lacrosse matches. Here in Western New York we are experiencing the worst surge in the state. We need this bill still today.”

The NY HERO Act will strengthen worker protections during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond by:

  • Creating new health & safety standards during airborne infectious disease outbreaks

  • Giving workers a stronger voice on the job

  • Holding employers accountable for dangerous workplaces

“We know that workers are best positioned to keep ourselves safe, and this bill creates joint employee-employer worker committees that will give us the voice we need to raise serious health and safety concerns with management,” said CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor. “This legislation is a model for other states to follow, and I’m very proud of our members who helped lead the way, successfully advocating for the State to act on the lessons we learned during the pandemic about how to keep people safe on the job.”

Tags (District 1)