You are reading

Bill That Aims to Ensure COVID-19 Safety in The Workplace Passes

(Photo: Unsplash Kayla Speid)

April 22, 2021 By Ryan Songalia

A new bill that aims to protect workers from contracting airborne illnesses in the workplace—such as COVID-19—passed both the New York State Senate and Assembly this week.

Businesses, under the legislation called NY Hero Act, will be required to meet minimum safety standards to reduce the risk to workers following the outbreak of such diseases. If they fail to comply, they will be hit with fines.

The Departments of Labor and Health will be tasked with establishing the standards for businesses to follow, such as determining how much personal protective equipment for employees is needed and social distancing requirements and more.

Queens-based senator Michael Gianaris was the primary sponsor in the Senate, while Karines Reyes, of the Bronx, was the primary sponsor in the Assembly. The bill is awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign it into law.

“Too many workers have already sacrificed their health for our community’s benefit,” Gianaris, the Senate Deputy Leader. “The New York HERO Act honors their efforts by giving workers the tools to protect themselves while on the job.

State Senator Jessica Ramos, who chairs the Senate Labor Committee, was one of three Queens-based senators, alongside James Sanders Sr., who co-sponsored the bill.

“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,” said Ramos. “It’s our turn to take care of them.”

The Queens-based legislators who co-sponsored the bill in the Assembly are Stacey Pheffer Amato, Nily Rozic, Zohran Mamdani, Brian Barnwell, Andrew Hevesi, Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Catalina Cruz, Catherine Nolan, Jenifer Rajkumar and Daniel Rosenthal.

Among the labor unions, community and safety organizations supporting the bill are AFL-CIO, CWA District 1, New York State Nurses Association and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island woman sentenced to more than two decades in prison for 2021 hit-and-run that killed NYPD cop: DA

A Long Island woman was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for speeding through an NYPD roadblock while drunk and killing a highway patrolman in a 2021 hit-and-run collision on the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows.

Jessica Beauvais, 35, of Myrtle Avenue in Hempstead, was convicted in October of aggravated manslaughter and other crimes following a 13-day trial in Queens Supreme Court. Beauvais had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit two hours after plowing into Detective Anastasios Tsakos while he was diverting traffic around another fatal collision, and then speeding away from the scene of the collision.

Firefighter injured battling 2-alarm house fire in Forest Hills early Wednesday morning: FDNY

The FDNY battled a fast-moving two-alarm house fire in Forest Hills early Wednesday morning that injured one firefighter. The blaze broke out in a two-story private home at 114 Walnut St., a block north of Forest Park at 2:34 a.m. Arriving units found heavy fire conditions throughout the basement, first and second floors. Firefighters were hampered by an SUV parked illegally in front of a fire hydrant at the location.

The FDNY transmitted a second alarm, bringing 25 units and 106 firefighters and EMS personnel to the scene. Nearby residents said the building had been undergoing construction in recent weeks and firefighters were evacuated from the rooftop due to sagging conditions towards the rear of the home. Firefighters could be seen through a second-story window pulling down ceilings after flames breached the cockloft, the area between the roof and ceiling.