Workplace Health and Safety Standards Must All Employers Follow
On October 28, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 192 to standardize operational requirements and ensure that all workers are adequately protected. The new requirements will go into effect at 6 a.m. on November 5, 2020. Businesses will be expected to follow these standardized guidelines as well as industry specific guidelines.
After November 5, 2020, employees will be able to report any businesses that are not following the protocols outlined in Executive Order 192 - additional information regarding these reporting processes will be released by the Department of Labor, and will be available here.
As of 6 a.m. on November 5, 2020, every business, non-profit, or governmental and educational entity that requires or permits its workforce to be physically present at a worksite must abide by the following requirements, at minimum, to protect employees, customers, and others who come into contact with its operations:
Require workers and customers to maintain at least six feet of distance from one another, to the maximum extent possible;
Require everyone to wear face masks, except when an employee is at their workstation at least six feet from others, or is alone in a walled space such as an office - Note: employers may be authorized to prevent individuals who refuse to wear a mask from entering the worksite, where such actions are consistent with state and federal law;
Provide face masks for their employees;
Provide approved sanitization materials for employees and visitors at no cost to those individuals;
Ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide employees with sufficient break time for that purpose;
Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines;
Prior to each shift, conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, consistent with CDC guidance;
Do not allow sick employees to enter workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws; and
Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite.
In addition, under federal OSHA law, employers must protect workers from workplace hazards that can cause illness or injury, provide required personal protective equipment (PPE), and ensure its use. It's also against NJ Wage and Hour law for an employer to deduct the cost of protective equipment from your pay.
Detailed requirements and exemptions can be found in Executive Order 192. Many sectors face additional requirements, summarized in the articles below.
Updated: October 28, 2020
Source: EO 192