With Governor Murphy’s Executive Order #192, New Jersey becomes the only state to leverage its public sector-only jurisdiction to protect workers in the private sector from COVID-19.
The executive order will take the following actions:
Workplace health and safety standards to cover all NJ workers
The executive order will require both private and public sector employers to follow health and safety protocols that will serve to protect their in-person workforces. The Order mandates that as of 6:00 a.m. on November 5th, all employers, at minimum, require individuals at the worksite to maintain at least six feet of distance from others to the maximum extent possible and require employees and visitors to wear masks when entering the worksite, subject to certain limited exceptions.
Other protocols impose additional requirements upon New Jersey employers
New Jersey employers, whether in the public or private sector, must:
* Provide approved sanitization materials to employees and visitors at no cost to those individuals;
* Ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide sufficient break time for that purpose;
* Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines;
* Conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, prior to each shift, consistent with CDC guidance;
* Exclude sick employees from the workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws; and
* Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite.
Collaborative enforcement mechanism to address complaints
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) will support the Department of Health’s efforts to address worker complaints from their employers. NJDOL’s roles will include establishing an intake form on the NJDOL website to receive complaints and developing an investigation and inspection protocol to review complaints.
Training program to inform workers of their rights and to encourage employer compliance
Executive Order #192 also directs NJDOL to provide compliance and safety training for employers and employees. The department will provide materials to inform workers of their rights and businesses of their obligations as well as coordinate with workforce training partners to create and provide training.
Questions regarding the Executive Order and Employer’s compliance obligations can be directed to Cynthia Borrelli or another member of the COVID-19 Task Force.