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Governor signs infectious disease worker safety bill

Posted On: Jun. 15, 2021 12:54 PM CST

New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday signed into law a bill that requires the state to create model standards for prevention of occupational exposure to an airborne infectious disease.

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.”

The law also include discrimination provisions that prohibits and employer from threatening or retaliating against, or taking adverse action against any employee 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.”

The law includes stipulations for employees who bring about frivolous actions against employers, including that the employee or their representing attorney pay legal fees.

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.