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With NY HERO amendment signed,
New York sides with workers over corporate power

New York (December 29, 2022) – Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director of ALIGN and leader of the NY Essential Workers coalition, released the following statement today in response to Governor Hochul signing the amendment strengthening the NY HERO Act into law in New York State: 

“Today, New York sends a message loud and clear: our state’s workers will not be silenced in the face of corporate abuse. This amendment will prevent companies like Meredith Corp and Chipotle from retaliating against workers who care about safety on the job, and ensure that the state has enforcement power to make NY HERO safety committees a powerful reality.

“We are proud to have quickly passed this legislation with a nimble coalition of labor, community and safety organizations, and we thank Deputy Leader Gianaris, Assemblymember Reyes, and Governor Hochul for their ongoing leadership, affirming once again that workers know what workers need.”

The NY HERO amendment (S.9450/A.10492) directs the Department of Labor (DOL) to enforce worker rights and pandemic protections of the New York State Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act). The NY HERO Act empowered workers to raise health and safety complaints, and report violations through the creation of workplace safety committees, but major New York employers ignored their obligation to recognize and meet with these committees. S9450/A102492 amends the NY HERO Act to address these employer violations of workers’ right to form workplace safety committees and make NY HERO a reality for all workers. 

Under the new legislation, if after an investigation the DOL finds an employer is not in compliance with the worker committee section of the NY HERO Act (Section 2), the Commissioner can assess a civil penalty and/or other relief as deemed appropriate. 

ALIGN (Alliance for a Greater New York) is a longstanding alliance of labor and community organizations united for a just and sustainable New York. ALIGN works at the intersection of economy, environment, and equity to make change and build movement. Our model addresses the root causes of economic injustice by forging strategic coalitions, shaping the public debate through strategic communications, and developing policy solutions that make an impact.