New York Governor Signs Infectious Disease Worker Safety Bill
A bill protecting against the spread of airborne diseases is aimed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Jun 23, 2021
To prevent airborne infectious diseases, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that requires the state to create model standards of occupational exposure to an airborne infectious disease.
According to an article, S. 6768, which passed the assembly 120 to 29 on June 7 and the Senate 48 to 15 on May 26, calls on a model workplace safety standard to “explicitly specify and distinguish the extent to which the provisions are applicable for different levels of airborne infectious disease exposure” and to “take into consideration circumstances where a state of emergency has or has not been declared due to an airborne infectious disease.”
S. 6768 includes discrimination provisions prohibiting employers from threatening, retailing against or taking any adverse action towards any employees for reporting unsafe conditions or refusing to work “where such employee reasonably believes, in good faith, that such work exposes him or her, or other workers or the public, to an unreasonable risk of exposure to an airborne infectious disease due to the existence of working conditions that are inconsistent with laws, rules, policies, orders of any governmental entity.”
As mentioned in the article, the law includes requirements about actions against employers, including that the employee or his/her representing attorney pays legal fees. Learn more about insurance and worker compensation due to COVID-19 here.
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.