NEW YORK – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Karines Reyes announced the New York HERO Act (S.1034-B/A.2681-B), a critical bill requiring businesses to have enforceable safety standards to prevent further spread of coronavirus, has passed the New York State Assembly New York State Senate.
Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris said: “Too many workers have already sacrificed their health for our community’s benefit. The New York HERO Act honors their efforts by giving workers the tools to protect themselves while on the job. I appreciate the support for this proposal from my colleagues in both houses and so many organizations throughout New York. I am thrilled both houses are passing this important bill.”
Assembly Member Karines Reyes, R.N. said: “As a nurse, I know how hard this last year has been for those working on the frontlines of the pandemic – worried about their health, the health of those around them and whether their work environment was a safe one. We need to ensure that corporations, who have made billions during this pandemic provide adequate protections to their employees and frontline workers. I am proud that we are passing this legislation that will save lives and protect those that are on the front line of public health crises.”
Senate Labor Committee Chair Senator Jessica Ramos noted that “the Legislature is once again taking action to protect workers. The New York HERO Act codifies the way workers want to feel protected, requiring businesses to have enforceable safety standards. Throughout this pandemic, workers across our state have had to put their lives and the lives of their families at risk to keep New York running. It’s our turn to take care of them.”
The NY HERO Act, or the New York Health and Essential Rights Act, would require the Departments of Labor and Health to implement enforceable minimum standards for workplace safety. The regulations must include protocols on testing, PPE, social distancing, hand hygiene, disinfection, and engineering controls. Workers would also be given a direct role in monitoring and reporting violations through workplace health and safety committees and employees would be protected from retaliation for utilizing their rights under the law.
The NY HERO Act is supported by more than 100 labor, community, and safety organizations, including the AFL-CIO. The legislation passed the Senate Labor committee in January. Just last week, Senator Gianaris and Assembly Member Reyes wrote an op-ed in The Buffalo News highlighting the importance of the NY HERO Act.
Senate co-sponsors include Senate Labor Committee Chair Jessica Ramos and Senators Brian Benjamin, Alessandra Biaggi, Jabari Brisport, Samra Brouk, John Brooks, Jeremy Cooney, James Gaughran, Andrew Gounardes, Michelle Hinchey, Brad Hoylman, Robert Jackson, Tim Kennedy, Liz Krueger, John Mannion, Rachel May, Shelley Mayer, Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Gustavo Rivera, Sean Ryan, Julia Salazar, James Sanders, Diane Savino, James Skoufis, and Kevin Thomas.
Assembly co-sponsors include Assembly Members Chris Burdick, Carmen De La Rosa, Richard Gottfried, Donna Lupardo, Michael Montesano, Nily Rozic, Rebecca Seawright, Linda Rosenthal, Charles Barron, Steven Englebright, Jonathan Jacobson, Al Taylor, Stefani Zinerman, N. Nick Perry, Demond Meeks, Sarah Clark, Jen Lunsford, Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Zohran Mamdani, Jo Anne Simon, Andrew Hevesi, Inez Dickens, Chantel Jackson, Emily Gallagher, Nathalia Fernandez, William Colton, Jenifer Rajkumar, Harvey Epstein, Gina Sillitti, Daniel Rosenthal, Robert Carroll, Marcela Mitaynes, Joe DeStefano, Stacey Pheffer Amato, Dan Quart, Harry Bronson, Catherine Nolan, Phara Souffrant Forrest, Charles Lavine, Robert Rodriguez, Michael Benedetto, Peter Abbate, Fred Thiele, Khaleel Anderson, Daniel O’Donnell, Brian Barnwell, Kenny Burgos, and Catalina Cruz.