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A00761 Summary:

BILL NOA00761
 
SAME ASSAME AS S00640
 
SPONSORRozic
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add §202-n, Lab L
 
Establishes an essential workers' bill of rights; provides that all employers shall provide essential workers with personal protective equipment, inform such workers of exposure to any disease related to a state disaster emergency, and not retaliate for any report of an unsafe work environment; provides certain employers shall make hazard payments and cover the costs of any child care or health care needed by such essential workers for the duration of the state disaster emergency.
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A00761 Actions:

BILL NOA00761
 
01/06/2021referred to labor
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A00761 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A761
 
SPONSOR: Rozic
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the labor law, in relation to establishing an essential workers' bill of rights   PURPOSE: To ensure rights, protection and hazard pay for essential workers during a state of emergency.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends the labor Jaw to adding section 202-n. Subsection 1 defines: "essential workers." Subsection 2 requires that during a state of emergency, employers of essential workers must implement the essential workers' bill of rights including the following: * Employers must provide adequate personal protective equipment and products at no cost to the workers; * Employers must inform essential workers when an employee has contracted a disease related to such state disaster emergency and of a worker's potential exposure to disease; * Employers may not retaliate or discriminate against an essential work- er for reporting any unsafe work environment; Subsection 3: * Defines: "employer," "formula retail store," "large employer," "manu- facturing," "not-for-profit organization," "transportation business," "franchisee or subcontractor." * Directs the Labor Commissioner to direct employers who meet the requirements of this subdivision to make hazard payments to essential workers during a state disaster emergency. The payments will be a percentage or a fixed dollar amount, as prescribed by the commissioner. No hazard payment will exceed twenty-five thousand dollars in any year for any essential worker earning less than two hundred thousand dollars per year or five thousand dollars for any essential worker earning more than two hundred thousand dollars. Hazard payments will be in addition to and not be part of an essential worker's basic annual salary, and will not affect any performance advancement payments, performance awards, longevity payments or other rights or benefits to which an essential worker may be entitled. A hazard payment shall be terminated upon the cessation of the state disaster emergency. * Directs employers to cover the costs of any child care or health care needed by essential workers during the duration of the state disaster emergency. Section 2 is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: During an unprecedented pandemic or state of emergency, many essential workers continue to go to work exposing themselves to high-risk condi- tions without appropriate protective equipment; adequate safety stand- ards, proper health care and childcare or basic job protections. This leaves them susceptible to contracting contagions and other dangers at a higher rate than the general public. For example, during the first few months of the COVID-1 9 pandemic in the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) received more than 3,000 worker complaints regarding the coronavirus between January 2020 and April 2020 outlining the fear and danger essential workers faced on a daily basis. Complaints highlighted the lack of personal protective equipment, the lack of transparency regarding coworkers testing positive for the virus, and inadequate pay. To date, there have been patchwork suggestions issued at the federal state and local levels; but no widespread regu- lations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of essential workers. This legislation would require employers of essential workers as defined by the Governor Cuomo's Executive Order 202.6 of 2020 to implement an essential workers' bill of rights that * Would ensure workers have adequate personal protective equipment * Would mandate that employers inform workers when an employee has contracted a disease related to the state of emergency and of a worker's potential exposure to disease; * Would prevent employers from retaliating or discriminating against an essential worker for reporting any unsafe work environment; * Certain large employers would also be required to cover the costs of any child care or health care needed by essential workers during the duration of the state of emergency and pay essential workers a payment that is a percentage or a fixed dollar amount, set by the Labor Commis- sioner. The benefit would be capped at $25,000 for workers earning less than $200,000 per year and at $5,000 for those earning more than $200,000. Small businesses, manufacturers, and non-profits would be exempt from this requirement.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2020: A10437 (Rozic) Labor   FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A00761 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                           761
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                       (Prefiled)
 
                                     January 6, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. ROZIC -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Labor
 
        AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to establishing an  essential
          workers' bill of rights
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a new section  202-n  to
     2  read as follows:
     3    §  202-n.  Essential  workers'  bill of rights. 1. For the purposes of
     4  this section, "essential worker" means any employee  of  a  business  or
     5  entity providing essential services or functions during any state disas-
     6  ter  emergency  declared  pursuant to article two-B of the executive law
     7  and designated as an essential worker pursuant to any law,  rule,  regu-
     8  lation  or executive order including but not limited to essential health
     9  care operations including research and  laboratory  services;  essential
    10  infrastructure  including  utilities,  telecommunication,  airports  and
    11  transportation infrastructure; essential manufacturing,  including  food
    12  processing  and  pharmaceuticals;  essential  retail  including  grocery
    13  stores and pharmacies; essential services  including  trash  collection,
    14  mail,  and  shipping  services;  news media; banks and related financial
    15  institutions; providers of basic necessities to  economically  disadvan-
    16  taged populations; construction; vendors of essential services necessary
    17  to  maintain  the  safety,  sanitation and essential operations of resi-
    18  dences or other essential businesses;  vendors  that  provide  essential
    19  services  or products, including logistics and technology support, child
    20  care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation  of  govern-
    21  ment  agencies  and  provide  for  the health, safety and welfare of the
    22  public.
    23    2. During a state disaster emergency, all employers of essential work-
    24  ers shall adopt and implement the following essential workers'  bill  of
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03488-01-1

        A. 761                              2
 
     1  rights  which  shall be distributed to essential workers, made available
     2  on each employer's website, and shall include links  or  information  to
     3  file  a  report  and  seek  a  response  from such employer or the state
     4  regarding  any  unsafe  work environment or failure to meet the require-
     5  ments of this section:
     6    (a) all  employers  shall  provide  essential  workers  with  adequate
     7  personal  protective  equipment and products at no cost to such workers,
     8  including but not limited to hand sanitizer, medical or surgical  masks,
     9  medical  or surgical gloves, disposable gowns and any other equipment or
    10  product identified in emergency regulations promulgated by  the  commis-
    11  sioner, in consultation with the commissioner of health;
    12    (b)  all employers shall inform essential workers when an employee has
    13  contracted a disease related to such state disaster emergency and  of  a
    14  worker's potential exposure to disease; and
    15    (c)  no  employer shall retaliate or discriminate against an essential
    16  worker for reporting any unsafe work environment.
    17    3. (a) For the purposes of this subdivision:
    18    (i) "employer" means a formula retail store, large employer, transpor-
    19  tation business, or franchisee or subcontractor, and includes any  indi-
    20  vidual,  partnership, association, corporation, limited liability compa-
    21  ny, business trust, legal representative,  or  any  organized  group  of
    22  persons acting as such an employer;
    23    (ii)  "formula retail store" means any employer that operates a retail
    24  sales or restaurant establishment either directly or through franchisees
    25  and that, along with eleven or more other  retail  sales  or  restaurant
    26  establishments  located  in  the United States, maintains two or more of
    27  the following features: (A)  a  standardized  array  of  merchandise,  a
    28  standardized  facade,  a  standardized decor and color scheme, a uniform
    29  apparel, standardized signage, a trademark; or (B) a servicemark;
    30    (iii) "large employer" means any employer that has annual gross reven-
    31  ue of fifty million dollars or  more,  but  shall  not  include  (A)  an
    32  employer  whose  principal  industry is manufacturing; or (B) a not-for-
    33  profit organization. An employer shall be deemed to  have  annual  gross
    34  revenue of fifty million dollars or more if it had revenue at or exceed-
    35  ing that level in any of the past three fiscal or calendar years;
    36    (iv)  "manufacturing"  means the process of working raw materials into
    37  products suitable for use or which gives new shapes, new quality or  new
    38  combinations  to  matter  which has already gone through some artificial
    39  process by the use of machinery, tools,  appliances,  or  other  similar
    40  equipment;
    41    (v) "not-for-profit organization" means an entity exempt from taxation
    42  under section 501(c)(3) of the federal internal revenue code;
    43    (vi) "transportation business" means any industry, business, or estab-
    44  lishment  operated for the purpose of conveying persons or property from
    45  one place to another whether by rail, highway, air, or  water,  and  all
    46  operations and services in connection therewith; and
    47    (vii)  "franchisee  or subcontractor" means any employer that operates
    48  under a franchise agreement with a formula retail store or large employ-
    49  er, or that provides services, including but not limited to  janitorial,
    50  maintenance,  security,  staffing, passenger services, food services, or
    51  temporary services to a formula retail store, large employer, or  trans-
    52  portation business.
    53    (b)  An  employer  meeting  the requirements of this subdivision shall
    54  also include in its essential workers' bill of rights:
    55    (i) hazard payments for its essential workers. An employer  of  essen-
    56  tial  workers  shall  make  such hazard payments at the direction of the

        A. 761                              3

     1  commissioner. Such payment shall be  a  percentage  or  a  fixed  dollar
     2  amount,  as prescribed by the commissioner, provided, however, no hazard
     3  payment shall exceed twenty-five thousand dollars in any  year  for  any
     4  essential worker earning less than two hundred thousand dollars per year
     5  or  five thousand dollars for any essential worker earning more than two
     6  hundred thousand dollars. Such payments shall  be  in  addition  to  and
     7  shall  not  be  part  of  an essential worker's basic annual salary, and
     8  shall  not  affect  or  impair  any  performance  advancement  payments,
     9  performance  awards,  longevity  payments or other rights or benefits to
    10  which an essential worker may be entitled. A  hazard  payment  shall  be
    11  terminated upon the cessation of the state disaster emergency; and
    12    (ii)  payment  of the costs of any child care or health care needed by
    13  such essential workers for the duration of the state disaster emergency.
    14    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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