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A new bill would require businesses across the state to adopt enforceable health and safety standards to stem the spread of coronavirus. The New York Health & Essential Rights, or NY HERO, Act would direct the Department of Labor to issue protective standards to prevent exposure to COVID-19 that must be followed by businesses.
Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, said the federal government has failed to issue enforceable workplace protections during the pandemic or respond to worker complaints, leaving it up to state governments to step in.
“What we’re trying to do with the bill is to provide something that would be permanent and would be mandatory and not just guidelines,” he said. “We can not count on the federal government for support.”