Hochul’s Signature of NY Hero Act Marks Huge Victory for NY’s Essential Workers

New York, NY—On Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state Department of Health will designate COVID-19 as a public health threat and that her administration will implement the NY HERO Act. The bill ensures the protection of millions of workers, regardless of immigration status, by providing protocols on testing, face masks, PPE, social distancing, hand hygiene, disinfection, and engineering controls during this pandemic and into the future. The law allows workers to protect themselves, their workspaces, and their customers via cooperative committees with employers. For months labor and immigrant rights advocates called for the Governor’s signature of this critical and life-saving bill.Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition:

"COVID-19 continues to have an enormous impact on our immigrant essential workers across the state, many of them farmworkers keeping our food supply lines open at great risk to themselves and their families. With multiple variants and spikes in COVID-19 cases, New York cannot afford to waste any time in keeping everyone safe and healthy. That is why the NY HERO Act will play such a vital role in the recovery of our state from the pandemic and protection from future airborne infectious diseases. We applaud Governor Hochul for recognizing the evolving challenges posed by this pandemic and for prioritizing the health and well-being of our frontline workers and every New Yorker.”