Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation (S8617B/A10832) requiring all public employers to create plans to adequately protect workers in the event of another state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease. The plans would apply to both the state and localities, including school districts. Plans must be submitted to unions and labor management committees within 150 days, and plans need to be finalized on April 1, 2021.
Operation plans must include:
- List and description of positions considered essential
- Descriptions of protocols to follow to enable all non-essential employees to work remotely
- Description of how employers would stagger work shifts to reduce overcrowding
- Protocols for PPE
- Protocol for when an employee is exposed to disease
- Protocol for documenting hours and work locations for essential workers
- Protocol for working with essential employees' localities for identifying emergency housing if needed
- Any other requirement determined by the New York State Department of Health, such as testing and contact tracing
Plans must be submitted to public unions for review. The Department of Labor will also create an online portal for public employees to report violations of health and safety rules for communicable diseases, including COVID-19.