Last week, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 192, establishing new safety requirements for businesses in the state of New Jersey to help protect against the spread of COVID-19.  Under the Executive Order, effective 6:00 am on Thursday, November 5th, 2020, “every business, non-profit and governmental or education entity” in New Jersey must adhere to and implement specific COVID safety procedures described in the Order.  Many businesses have already implemented the majority of these procedures, but some might have adjustments to make to be in full compliance.

 Here are the highlights of the required COVID safety procedures.

  • Prior to each shift, employers must conduct daily health checks of employees, such as temperature screens, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists and/or health questionnaires;
  • Individuals at the worksite must maintain at least 6 feet distance to the maximum extent possible, including during worksite meetings, orientations and similar activities that would traditionally require people to be in close proximity, in common areas such as breakrooms and restrooms, and while entering and exiting the workplace.  Where the nature of the work makes this impossible, employers must ensure that each employee wears a mask and shall install physical barriers between workstations wherever possible;
  • Employers, customers and visitors are required to wear cloth or disposable face masks while on premises;
  • Employers must make face masks available to employees at the employer’s own expense;
  • Employers may deny entry to the worksite to anyone who declines to wear a mask;
  • Employers may deny entry to the worksite to any customer or visitor to the worksite, but may be required to provide services or goods via a reasonable accommodation;
  • Neither employers or their employees shall require individuals to produce medical documentation verifying a stated health condition preventing the customer or visitor from wearing a mask;
  • Employers must provide sanitations materials such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to employees, customers and visitors at the employer’s expense;
  • Employers must ensure that employees practice regular hand hygiene;
  • Employers must routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas;
  • Employers must immediately separate and send home employees who appear to have symptoms consistent with COVID; and
  • Employers must clean and disinfect the worksite in accordance with CDC guidelines when an employee at the site has been diagnosed with COVID.

If you have not yet reviewed these mandates, we highly recommend you do so immediately and to discuss any questions with your legal counsel.