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HR Alert: New Public Employer Obligation in New York

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On September 7, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation which requires public employers to create an operation plan in order to protect employees in the event another communicable disease-related public health emergency arises.

What must the operational plan include? 

• All essential positions including why the position is essential and contact tracing protocols in the event of a positive test;
• Protocol for non-essential employees to follow when working remotely;
• How will work shifts will be staggered, if possible, to reduce overcrowding;
• How essential employees will receive personal protective equipment (PPE), including things like masks, gloves, and face shields and how it will be stored for easy access (notably, the employer must provide each employee with at least two pieces of each type of PPE);
• What will happen when an employee tests positive for the communicable disease, displays symptoms, or is exposed to the disease; and
• A protocol for essential employee temporary housing in the event an immediate family member is at increased risk.

When does it need to go into effect?

Operation plans must be submitted to unions and/or labor management committees within 150 days and must be finalized by April 1, 2021. The final version of the operation plan must be posted, published in the employee handbook, if any, and published online for the easy access.

Keeping track of all of these changes can be confusing. If you or your business needs help in understanding these changes, The Coppola Firm can help. If you need assistance in responding and developing a plan to protect employees from the COVID-19 pandemic, whether as a public employer or a conscientious private employer, we can help develop those plans.

Our team of experienced attorneys is here to guide you through the ever-changing field of employment law.

Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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