The New York Health and Essential Rights Act (The HERO Act) was signed by Governor Cuomo on May 5, 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The intent of this new law is to prevent future occupational exposures to airborne infectious diseases at workplaces.

This NY Labor Law 218-b, 27-d requires the following:

  • NYS Department of Labor (NYSDOL), in consultation with the Department of Health (DOH), to create and publish a general model airborne infectious disease exposure standard and model standards for each industry that represents a significant portion of the workforce, or with unique characteristics.
  • Private employers to establish an airborne infectious disease exposure plan by adopting the model standard (developed by NYS DOL), or an alternative plan.
  • Model plan to include requirements of procedures and methods (ex: PPE, social distanc-ing, etc.).
  • Employer to provide written notice to workers about the model standard.
  • Employer to provide a copy of the plan to all employees.
  • Plan must be posted at the workplace, and included in any employee handbook.
  • Plan must also include anti-retaliation requirements. Employer is prohibited from taking any adverse action against an employee for exercising his/her rights under this Law.
  • Authorizes NYS DOL and the NYS Attorney General to take appropriate enforcement measures including assessment of civil penalties.
  • Employee right to establish labor-management workplace safety committees.

For more details visit the NYS DOL dedicated website: and you can also direct general inquiries to

212.683.7200 |