Effective 6:00 a.m., November 5, 2020, Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 192 requires every New Jersey employer (“business, non-profit and governmental or educational entity”), to take additional COVID-19 safety measures to protect their in-person workforces.
What are the New Requirements?
Pursuant to EO 192, employers who “require or permit” any of part of their workforce to be physically present at a worksite, must:
(1) Conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checks, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, consistent with CDC guidance; and
(2) Notify all employees of any known COVID-19 exposure in the workplace, consistent with all applicable confidentiality laws.
In addition, employers must, with respect to their on-site workforce and visitors:
(3) Require such persons to remain “at least six feet” apart, including in common areas, restrooms, and when entering or exiting the workplace.
However, if a workspace does not allow for six feet in distance, employers must:
- Ensure the employee wears a protective mask (as required in 4 below)
- Install physical barriers between workstations “wherever possible.”
(4) Require employees, customers and other visitors “entering the worksite to wear cloth or disposable face masks while on site in accordance with CDC recommendations.”
- Author’s note: employees may remove their masks while at their workstations provided the stations are at least 6-feet apart.
- Excluded from this requirement are children under two, or where it is impracticable (such as when a person is eating or drinking) or if a service cannot be performed if an individual is “wearing a mask” (such as a dental procedure).
(5) Provide hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol and sanitizing wipes at no cost to employees and visitors.
(6) Ensure employees practice hand hygiene and provide breaks for that purpose.
(7) Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas (doorknobs, handrails, etc.)
(8) “Separate” and “send home” from the workplace, any employee who appears to have COVID-19 symptoms as defined by the CDC; and
(9) In the event employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 illness, clean and disinfect that employee’s worksite in accordance with CDC guidelines.
EO 192 Enforcement?
The NJDOL and the Department of Health are to establish a complaint-intake, investigation and inspection process and procedure. If a business is found to have violated the Order, it may be subject to penalties under N.J.S.A. App. A:9-49 and A9-50.
Training Programs and Postings Required
Finally, EO 192 directs the NJDOL to provide compliance and safety training for employers and employees, and materials to inform employers of their obligations and workers of their rights.