Public employees were crushed by the COVID19 pandemic, and Governor Cuomo is seeking to protect them in the future.

New legislation was signed on Monday requiring all public employers to create plans to protect their employees in the event in future pandemics.

Governor Cuomo‘s office released his plans this morning that apply to school districts, local governments and state government.

The plan is set in place to prepare for “future state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease.”

The plans must be submitted to labor-management committees and unions within 150 days, and must be finalized by April 1, 2021.

The plans must include the following:

  • A description of positions that are considered essential.
  • Protocol to allow all nonessential employees to work remotely.
  • Protocol to allow for staggered work times.
  • Protocol for PPE.
  • Protocol to document hours and work locations for essential employees.
  • Protocols for when an employee is exposed to a communicable disease.
  • Protocol for working with the employees or identify emergency housing if needed.
  • Any other requirement determined by the state, such as testing and contact tracing.

Governor Cuomo thanked New Yorkers who worked hard to bend the coronavirus curve in New York and says that we owe a debt of gratitude to the Frontline workers who braved the pandemic on our behalf.

He said, “The federal government's failure to plan for a response to this emergency put our state in harm's way, and we can never let that happen again. That’s why this Labor Day, we are honoring public employees' efforts over the last six months by planning for the next emergency - and ensuring all levels of government in New York protect the public workers from a future pandemic.”

An online portal was created by the New York State Department of Labor to allow public employees to report violations of health and safety goals.