Memo of Opposition: S.1034A (Gianaris)/A.2681A (Reyes)
Date: March 16, 2021
MEMO OF OPPOSITION
S.1034A (Gianaris)/A.2681A (Reyes)
The Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) opposes S.1034A (Gianaris/A.2681A (Reyes), which would amend the labor law in regard to preventing occupational exposure to an airborne infectious disease.
While we certainly understand the sponsor’s intention to make New York workplaces safer, we believe this legislation would create an unnecessary regulatory framework for employers and subject them to potential civil penalties and additional costs. It would create another mandate on employers during already uncertain fiscal times due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Soon after the onset of the pandemic, many of New York’s essential manufacturers put in place a comprehensive list of significant operational measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their factories and office spaces. Even further, MACNY instituted a consortium of manufacturing leaders in the region who took a pledge to uphold state and federal health guidelines by controlling site traffic, enhancing hygiene, improving social distancing measures, and boosting emergency responses and internal communications.
These companies also continue to follow the updated guidelines set forth by OSHA. These guidelines help manufacturers identify risks of being exposed to and/or contracting COVID-19 at work and help determine appropriate control measures to implement.
We know that small, medium and large businesses across the state are fearful that they may not be able to weather the current pandemic and worry what long-term impacts the pandemic will have on its employees. MACNY, on behalf of our members, is concerned that this legislation could result in extensive new mandates and drive-up costs for businesses, especially small businesses, that are already struggling to pay their bills and keep their doors open. For these reasons, we oppose the legislation.