- Published Articles
- In the Press
- Press Releases
Sign Up for Alerts
Sign up to receive receive industry-specific emails from our legal team.
Sign Up for Alerts
We provide tailored, industry-specific legal updates to our clients and other friends of the firm.
Areas of Interest
September 28th, 2021
Changes to Face Mask and Social Distancing Requirements in Updated NY HERO Act Model Plan
As discussed in our previous alerts and blog posts here, the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (the “NY HERO Act”) requires employers to among other things maintain, and upon designation by the NYS Commissioner of Health, implement, an “airborne infectious disease” plan that meets certain minimum standards. On September 6, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease, triggering employer obligations to implement HERO Act plans and to verbally review them with employees. This designation is currently in place through September 30 but is expected to be extended.
Previously, the NY Hero Act Model Plan required that all employees “wear face coverings throughout the work day to the greatest extent possible” and follow physical distancing “as much as feasible,” while “avoiding unnecessary gatherings,” and “using a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained,” all without regard to vaccination status. The Model Plan (here) has now been updated as follows:
In workplaces where all individuals on premises, including but not limited to employees, are fully vaccinated, face coverings are “recommended, but not required.” For all other workplaces, employees are required to wear appropriate face coverings in accordance with guidance from the State Department of Health (“DOH”) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), that unvaccinated individuals wear a mask in indoor public places.
Physical distancing must be maintained “to the extent feasible” in accordance with guidance from the DOH and the CDC. The revised Model Plan removed prior references to “avoiding unnecessary gatherings” and “using a face covering when physical distance cannot be maintained.” Employers are still required to determine whether, in situations where prolonged close contact with other individuals is likely, additional controls beyond certain minimum controls should be implemented.
Next Steps for Employers
Employers should review their plan to ensure that it is in compliance with the requirements of the NY HERO Act and other applicable public health guidance, and may revise their plan as per the new Model Plan requirements regarding face coverings and social distancing.
If you have questions about the New York HERO Act Model Plan, please contact, Wendy Stryker at (212) 705-4838 or email@example.com, Tricia Legittino at (310) 579-9632 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Employment Compliance, Training & Litigation Group.
Other Employment Law Alerts
Employers Must Implement NY HERO Act Safety Plans Now
On September 6, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul designated COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease under the HERO Act. This designation requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans that are in compliance with HERO Act standards. Read more.
September 8 2021
The Fast and the Furious: Four Major Developments in COVID-19 and Return-to-Work Protocols
In case you blinked, we covered four major developments that came out in the past week that every employer needs to know as they reopen their offices. Read more.
June 16 2021
Vac to Work: EEOC Provides New Guidance on Vaccine Requirements, Incentives, and Documentation Requests
On May 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its ongoing guidance on COVID-related labor and employment rules, “What You Should Know about COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.” The updates provide crucial information for employers working through their return-to-work plans. Read more.
June 4 2021