June 29, 2022

Volume XII, Number 180

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New York State Ends COVID-19 HERO Act Designation

On March 17, 2022, New York State’s Commissioner of Health ended the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health under the New York Health and Essential Rights (HERO) Act. As of that date, private sector employers in New York State are no longer required to implement their workforce safety plans.

IN DEPTH


The HERO Act was signed into law on May 5, 2021, and began to apply to COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease on September 6, 2021. Employers were required to implement extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the NY HERO Act was to protect employees against exposure and disease during a potential airborne infectious disease outbreak.

Although COVID-19 is no longer designated as an airborne infectious disease covered by the HERO Act’s protections, the HERO Act technically remains available for New York State to choose to reactivate its application to COVID-19, or to apply the HERO Act to any other future airborne infectious disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health.

NEXT STEPS

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise and fall, employers should continue to watch for developments in state, local, and federal workplace health and safety regulations. As of this publication, New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers remains in effect, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams has not provided any further guidance on when this mandate may be withdrawn.

© 2022 McDermott Will & EmeryNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 83
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About this Author

Abigail M. Kagan Employment Attorney McDermott Will & Emery New York, NY
Associate

Abigail M. Kagan focuses her practice on employment law, with particular experience in conducting transactional due diligence, defending single-plaintiff, class and collective actions, second-chairing labor negotiations, and drafting personnel policies and other employment documents. She has advised clients on EEO concerns, the gig economy, data privacy, leaves of absence, reductions in force, wage and hour audits, unemployment insurance, short-term disability, restrictive covenants, and NLRA application to non-union members.

Abigail has conducted internal investigations and...

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Lindsay Ditlow Employment Attorney McDermott Will & Emery New York, NY
Partner

Lindsay Ditlow is experienced in all aspects of employment law, including litigation, counselling, and corporate transactions.

As a trial lawyer, Lindsay has successfully represented numerous clients in employment litigations, including cases involving claims under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and state leave laws, the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine, state discrimination and retaliation statutes, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and state wage and hour laws.

...

212-547-5425
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