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Business groups say New York Hero Act will create legal exposure, poses risk to staying open

The New York Hero Act has been backed by major unions, and was designed to add safety measures to prevent the spread of illnesses like the coronavirus. But businesses organizations across the state are urging Governor Kathy Hochul to be cautious when rolling out the new law.

Supporters of the law are calling for quick rollout of the measures to ensure that workers are kept safe, as pandemic-era unemployment benefits come to an end, and the delta variant continues to surge across the state and U.S.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses said the extent of the regulations, as well as the cost of implementing them, will create big challenges for businesses. This will especially be true of small businesses, the group says.

The law requires the state to put health and safety standards in place- including regulations for testing, personal protective equipment, social distancing, hygiene, and engineering controls in workplaces.

“There is absolutely no reason to trigger the implementation of the NY HERO Act other than aiding unscrupulous trial lawyers looking to line their pockets at the expense of small businesses,” said Ashley Ranslow, the NFIB’s assistant state director. ““Reinstating COVID-era restrictions would be the nail in the coffin for many small businesses that have fought desperately to keep their businesses afloat and employees working. Recovery is still a long way away and small businesses and the state’s economy cannot afford to take a step backward with capacity restrictions and strict and costly protocols. With a safe, effective, and FDA-approved vaccine available, businesses should remain open.”