On October 28, Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order No. 192 (EO 192) establishing requirements for all New Jersey employers to follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces. The Executive Order was issued because Federal OSHA has not issued a standard and New Jersey does not have a state OSHA program. The state Department of Health and Department of Labor and Workforce Development have been identified as the key state agencies responsible for overseeing the implementation of EO 192 and most likely will be the primary enforcement authority.
EO 192 became effective November 5, 2020, and there is no established expiration date set. Employers are required to implement the following:
- Require social distancing of at least 6 feet wherever possible. When the work does not allow for social distancing, then masks or other face coverings (?) will be required or the installation of physical barriers between workstations when feasible.
- Require employees, customers, visitors, etc., who are on premise to wear a mask or other face coverings (?) in accordance with the recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Specific to employees: masks can be removed when alone in a walled office or situated more than 6 feet from other employees.
- Employers must provide masks to their employees. Additionally, employers can deny entry into the workplace to any employee who declines to wear a face mask, unless in doing so violates a state or federal law.
- When an employee may not wear a face mask due to a disability, the employer may be required to provide the employee with a reasonable accommodation unless undue hardship would be placed on the business.
- An employer may require employees to produce medical documentation supporting claims that they are unable to wear a face mask because of a disability.
- Employers are required to provide sanitation materials, such as hand sanitizers, that are approved by the US EPA for SARS-COV-2, at no cost, to employees, customers, and visitors.
- Employers must adopt a sanitation protocol that includes proper hygiene practices by employees as well as cleaning of all high touch areas.
- Employers, prior to each shift, must conduct daily health checks of all employees.
- Establish employment policies for both the notification and removal of COVID-19 cases in the workplace.
PRINTING United Alliance distributed a fact sheet to all its members in New Jersey outlining the requirements of the Executive Order. It is recommended that New Jersey employers download a copy of the PRINTING United Alliance’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. For more information or if you have questions, please reach out to Marci Kinter, email@example.com; Gary Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Adriane Harrison at email@example.com.