After getting over this election hangover, we’re back to your regularly scheduled COVID programming! We’re gonna kick things off with some new business protocols from New Jersey.
On Wednesday Oct. 28th, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 192. The order, which went into effect on Nov 5th, creates additional COVID protocols for businesses throughout the state. Per a press release from the Governor (we’ve left out the political jabs), New Jersey businesses must:
- Require individuals at the worksite to maintain at least six feet of distance from others to the maximum extent possible
- If social distancing is not possible, businesses must install physical barriers wherever possible
- Require employees and visitors to wear masks when entering the worksite
- Employees may remove mask when at a workstation at least six feet from others or alone in an office
- Employees who refuse to wear a mask due to disability may be required to provide medical documentation
- Visitors who refuse to wear a mask due to disability MAY NOT be required to provide medical documentation
- Provide approved sanitization materials to employees and visitors at no cost to those individuals
- Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and sanitizing wipes that are approved by the EPA for SARS-CoV-2 virus
- Ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide sufficient break time for that purpose
- Employers may require employees to wear gloves provided at the employer’s expense
- Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines
- Ex. Restrooms, hand rails, door knobs, safety equipment
- Conduct daily health checks prior to each shift, consistent with CDC guidance
- Ex. Temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, health questionnaires
- Exclude sick employees from the workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws
- Worksite must be disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines after an employee tests positive
- Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite.
- According to EEOC guidance: [using a generic descriptor, such as telling employees that “someone at this location” or “someone on the fourth floor” has COVID-19, provides notice and does not violate the ADA]
EO 192 extends previous requirements that employers facilitate telework whenever practicable.
EO 192 rescinds EO 142’s requirement to “limit worksite meetings, inductions, and workgroups to groups of fewer than 10 individuals.”
StraightforWARD Legal Advice:
The easiest way for employers to ensure compliance with EO 192 is for its workforce to telework. If teleworking isn’t an option, employers should cross-check EO 192 protocols against company policies and procedures. Employers should also create a channel for employees to communicate concerns and noncompliance.