Heroes Need Jobs Too
Randy Wolken, President & CEO
Recently, the New York State Legislature passed the NY HERO Act (S.1034-B/A.2681-B). If signed by the Governor in its current form, this legislation would create an entirely new regulatory burden with significant potential fines and litigation for nearly every business in New York State. In its current form, it could seriously impact our ability to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I do believe this act was introduced to help improve workplace safety. I do think our frontline workers are true heroes. Manufacturing, grocery, restaurant workers, and many others were all on the frontlines during this pandemic. They needed—and still need—to be protected. However, the question is whether this act helps do so. Now and during the height of the pandemic, employers worked with employees nonstop to reduce exposure to COVID. Mask wearing, social distancing, sanitizing workspaces, and many other proven techniques were used successfully.
I know this because MACNY helped implement a nationally recognized effort to help employers work with their employees to implement these efforts through our Keeping People Safe and Factories Running program. Over three dozen employers came together to create and implement ways to continue to produce products safely each day. It was truly amazing what was accomplished.
Manufacturers care deeply about their teams of employees. They created the safest workplaces possible. The results were outstanding. However, creating a burdensome new set of requirements and opening the door to ongoing liability from lawsuits is not the way to help our heroes. We believe that significant changes need to be made to this well-intentioned legislation. We encourage our state lawmakers to work with the Cuomo Administration to make this legislation workable and helpful to promote safe workplaces without costing the very heroes it wants to help their jobs.
MACNY stands ready to help create a better effort that will help New York lead the way in worker safety, job retention, and growth. Please lend your voice to this effort by using our new digital platform to let the Governor know you want a fair and helpful new law. The Governor is expected to take action on the bill today. Please click here to take action and send an e-mail to the Governor.
Finally, thank you for what you have done to keep our economy strong during the last year of the pandemic. Without your dedication and hard work, much of the economy would have had to shut down. The economic damage would have been catastrophic. We owe you so much. You indeed are our heroes, and we thank you.