COVID-19 Laws and Regs: Midyear Scorecard For Employers
Carol Goodman, co-chair of Herrick's Litigation Department and chair of the Employment Practice, spoke to Law360 about key workplace virus guidelines and mandates, specifically the NY HERO Act. Carol said that, as the calendar turns to July, the New York Department of Labor is poised to issue model standards for employers in different industries, which will be closely watched by businesses in the state.
She explained that employers will soon be able to "look up their industry guidelines and see the minimum standards for health and safety," and will then have 30 days to either accept the state's plan or adopt their own and another 60 days to provide the safety plan to their workforce.
The article stated that the NY Hero Act is intended largely to guard against future airborne virus outbreaks. Carol noted that the extent to which the state's model standards address future scenarios or focus on the particular dangers caused by COVID-19 remains to be seen.
She elaborated, "I suspect the Department of Labor is thinking about whether this safety plan for infectious airborne diseases will be more for the future and setting workplace standards in advance of the next pandemic, or whether it's going to apply … to where we are today. If it [is the latter], there will be lesser requirements in New York. If it applies to an airborne infectious disease that's commencing, there will be more restrictions. So, I wonder if it will have different tiers."
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