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New COVID Health & Safety Rules for New Jersey Employers

November 27, 2020 Hostile Work Environment

How the Governor’s Executive Order Will Make Your Workplace Safer

On October 28, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey issued an Executive Order that laid out more stringent workplace health and safety requirements.

This order adds new requirements to those already in place for employers who require employees to work on-site or at the office. Here’s an overview of what’s included in the order, which goes into effect on November 5.

Physical Distancing

Employers must require that all workers keep at least six feet of distance from one another. This applies in settings including restrooms and break rooms, meetings, entry and exit points, and anywhere else it’s physically possible.

If it’s impossible to keep six feet of distance between coworkers, then employers have to require that all employees wear masks and set up physical barriers to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Face Coverings 

Employers are required to make face coverings mandatory for everyone on the premises aged two years old and older.

Exceptions to this rule include:

  • When employees are at their workstations and more than six feet apart from others.
  • When employees are alone in a separate room, such as a private office.
  • When it’s impossible to require face coverings due to the nature of the work.

Employers are required to offer masks free to employees. They must also offer reasonable accommodations to those on premises with a disability that prevents them from wearing a mask.

Sanitation and Hygiene

Employers are required to provide sanitation materials, including 60%-alcohol hand sanitizer, to everyone on premises at no cost to them.

They must also require employees to practice recommended hand hygiene. This includes providing regular break times throughout the day to allow for frequent hand washing, as well as access to appropriate hand-washing facilities.

In addition, employers are required to properly clean and disinfect all frequently touched areas in compliance with requirements from the CDC and DOH.

Daily Health Checks

Employers are required to perform daily health checks for employees prior to each shift. This includes conducting temperature screenings, checking visual symptoms, and asking employees to fill out self-assessment questionnaires.

Employers are not required to perform health checks for visitors or customers.

Dealing With COVID Outbreaks

If someone at work appears to have COVID symptoms, they must be immediately separated from the rest of the workforce and sent home.

Employers are required to promptly notify all other employees who may have been exposed, while complying with healthcare privacy and confidentiality laws.

They are also required to ensure that all spaces that may have been exposed be cleaned and disinfected in compliance with CDC recommendations.

Is Your Employer Ensuring Your Safety at Work?

If you believe your employer is not following the appropriate rules and guidelines with regard to protecting your safety at work, we can help.

Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at for a free, confidential consultation today. 

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.