Labor Law Section 27-D
Workplace safety committees
1.For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a)“Employer” shall mean any person, entity, business, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or an association employing at least ten employees. The term shall not include the state, any political subdivision of the state, a public authority, or any other governmental agency or instrumentality.
(b)“Employee” shall include all employees in the state, except for employees of the state, any political subdivision of the state, a public authority, or any other governmental agency or instrumentality.
2.Employers shall permit employees to establish and administer a joint labor-management workplace safety committee, but not more than one committee per worksite, provided however that an employer that already has a workplace safety committee that is otherwise consistent with the requirements of this section, shall be exempted from creating an additional safety committee under this section. Each workplace safety committee shall be composed of employee and employer designees, provided at least two-thirds are non-supervisory employees. Employee members of the committee shall be selected by, and from among, non-supervisory employees. Committees shall be co-chaired by a representative of the employer and non-supervisory employees. Where there is a collective bargaining agreement in place, the collective bargaining representative shall be responsible for the selection of employees to serve as members of the committee. Committees representing geographically distinct worksites may also be formed as necessary.
3.No employer shall interfere with the selection of employees who shall serve on such committee or who serve as the workplace safety designee or with such employees’ performance of the duties authorized under this section.
4.Each workplace safety committee and workplace safety designee shall be authorized to perform the following tasks, including but not limited to:
(a)Raise health and safety concerns, hazards, complaints and violations to the employer to which the employer must respond.
(b)Review any policy put in place in the workplace required by any provision of this chapter relating to occupational safety and health and provide feedback to such policy in a manner consistent with any provision of law.
(c)Review the adoption of any policy in the workplace in response to any health or safety law, ordinance, rule, regulation, executive order, or other related directive.
(d)Participate in any site visit by any governmental entity responsible for enforcing safety and health standards unless otherwise prohibited by law.
(e)Review any report filed by the employer related to the health and safety of the workplace in a manner consistent with any provision of law.
(f)Regularly schedule a meeting during work hours at least once a quarter that shall last no longer than two hours.
5.Employers shall permit safety committee designees to attend a training of no longer than four hours, without suffering a loss of pay, on the function of worker safety committees, rights established under this section, and an introduction to occupational safety and health.
6.Any employee who participates in the activities or establishment of a workplace safety committee shall not be subject to retaliation for any actions taken pursuant to their participation. Violations of this subdivision shall be deemed to be a violation of paragraph (a) of subdivision one of § 215 (Penalties and civil action)section two hundred fifteen of this chapter and the civil penalties and remedies of paragraph (b) of subdivision one and paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision two of § 215 (Penalties and civil action)section two hundred fifteen of this chapter shall be applicable to this subdivision.
7.Nothing in this section shall be deemed to diminish the rights, privileges, or remedies of any employee under any collective bargaining agreement. The provisions of this section may be waived by a collective bargaining agreement, provided that for such waiver to be valid, it shall explicitly reference this section.
8.The commissioner shall adopt and amend rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions and purposes of this section.
9.(a) An employer must recognize within fifteen business days the establishment of a workplace safety committee created pursuant to this section. Violations of this subdivision shall result in a civil penalty of not less than fifty dollars per day until the violation is remedied.
(b)The commissioner may also order other appropriate relief including enjoining the conduct of any person or employer in addition to any other remedies permitted by this section.
Section 27-D — Workplace safety committees,
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/LAB/27-D (updated Mar. 10, 2023; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).