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For Immediate Release: May 5, 2021

Contact: Patrick Nevada,, 646.866.9065

After Relentless Organizing by Essential Workers and Advocates, Governor Cuomo Signs NY HERO Act Into Law 

NEW YORK, NY – After relentless organizing and pressure from essential workers and advocates, Governor Cuomo today signed the NY HERO Act into law, which passed with bipartisan support in the New York State Assembly and Senate. Over the past few months, support for this common-sense and bipartisan legislation has grown as the NY Essential Workers Coalition ran a highly disciplined, focused, and strategic campaign to win. The Albany Times Union, Newsday, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer all endorsed the legislation in the past few days. 

NY HERO Act will be the first law in the country to create permanent, enforceable health and safety standards to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne infectious diseases in the workplace. As New York  moves toward a full reopening in the coming weeks, this vital law will help protect essential workers and businesses

The legislation directs the state Department of Labor to create lasting new protections, including protocols around face masks, PPE, social distancing, and airflow. It also gives workers a stronger say in enforcing those standards through workplace Health and Safety Committees.

“The relentless organizing of essential workers is what got Governor Cuomo to sign the NY HERO Act. We are grateful to New York State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Karines Reyes for their tireless and effective leadership on the NY HERO Act from day one of this campaign. As New York moves toward a full re-opening in the weeks ahead, the NY HERO Act will play a key role in protecting essential workers and businesses across the state. This law is a major new national precedent for how to create enforceable health and safety protections for workers on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic and give workers a voice on the job through health and safety committees. On behalf of the essential workers coalition, a statewide group of over 70 unions, worker centers, community organizations, legal service providers, immigrants rights groups, and health and safety advocates I am thrilled to see the NY HERO act signed into law,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director of ALIGN and a key leader of the NY Essential Workers Coalition that successfully fought for the NY HERO Act. 


The NY Essential Workers Coalition has led the campaign for the NY HERO Act statewide group made up of over 75 unions, worker centers, immigrant rights organizations, legal service providers, health and safety organizations, and community-based organizations. More than 100 community and labor organizations have backed the legislation.