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As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the United States, some jurisdictions are implementing work place safety rules as a means of trying to curb the spread of the virus. Israel-based companies are welcome to reach out to GT Tel Aviv Labor & Employment Shareholder Meira Ferziger for more information on work place safety rules. The article below was prepared by GT’s New Jersey office and addresses new safety rules required in the State of New Jersey.

On Oct. 27, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 192, the latest executive order issued under the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) state of emergency. Effective Nov. 5, the order requires all employers to enforce certain workplace safety protocols, many of which may already have been adopted because the requirements track existing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In particular, the order obligates employers to:

  • Require all individuals in the workplace to “maintain at least six feet of distance from one another to the maximum extent possible”;
  • Require all individuals, both employees and customers or other visitors, to “wear cloth or disposable face masks while on the premises”;
  • Provide sanitization materials to employees and visitors at no cost;
  • Ensure employees “practice regular hand hygiene” and are provided “break time” for handwashing throughout the day;
  • Regularly “clean and disinfect all high-touch areas”;
  • Conduct daily employee health screenings in accordance with CDC guidance, such as “temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires”;
  • Separate and send home any employees who appear to have COVID-19 symptoms; and
  • Notify all employees of known COVID-19 exposure in the workplace, consistent with ADA confidentiality requirements and EEOC guidance.

Employers may permit employees seated at their workstations to remove masks if they are more than six feet from others, or when “alone in a walled office.” Employers must “make available” masks to employees at the employer’s expense. Finally, employers may deny entry to the workplace to employees or visitors who decline to wear a mask, except where doing so would violate state or federal law (for example, where a disability precludes the employee or visitor from wearing the mask).

Read the full GT Alert “New Jersey Orders Employers to Implement Specific COVID-19 Workplace Safety Protocols”

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Photo of Ryan P. O'Connor Ryan P. O'Connor

Ryan O’Connor represents employers across multiple industries in connection with a variety of labor and employment law matters, including the defense of discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination claims. He also advises clients on internal employment matters, including employment contracts and separation agreements, employer

Ryan O’Connor represents employers across multiple industries in connection with a variety of labor and employment law matters, including the defense of discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination claims. He also advises clients on internal employment matters, including employment contracts and separation agreements, employer policies and handbooks, and wage and hour compliance.

Photo of Michael J. Slocum Michael J. Slocum

Michael J. Slocum focuses his practice on labor and employment law, including the defense of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge and whistleblower claims. Michael has represented employers in a broad array of industries, including health care and life sciences, pharmaceutical, private security, and retail,

Michael J. Slocum focuses his practice on labor and employment law, including the defense of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge and whistleblower claims. Michael has represented employers in a broad array of industries, including health care and life sciences, pharmaceutical, private security, and retail, and has experience defending against both individual employee claims and class actions.

Michael has written and spoken numerous times on a multitude of issues facing employers in diverse industries. In addition to many client alerts and online articles, Michael was a contributing author to “Avoiding Liability for Unconscious Bias and Subtle Discrimination” published in the New Jersey Law Journal in December 2008, as well as a chapter on the False Claims Act in the 2010 edition of “Health Law and Compliance Update.” Michael was a speaker at a September 2008 seminar “The New Jersey FCA: Perspectives and Insight,” as well as the firm’s May 2013 “Taking Care of Business: An Annual Update on Labor and Employment Law” seminar. More recently, Law 360 published Michael’s article “NYC Earned Sick Time Act May Hit Small Business Hardest” in May 2014, and his article “NJ Supreme Court Reaffirms ‘Faithless Servant’ Doctrine” in November 2015. Michael also authored “EEOC Proposes Collecting Pay Data to Combat ‘Pay Discrimination,’” published by the New Jersey Law Journal in March 2016, and well as “Revisiting the Great Joint Employment Debate,” published by the New Jersey Law Journal in April 2018.

Prior to joining the firm, Michael practiced in the litigation department of a national firm focused on labor and employment matters in the life sciences industry, where he served as Editor of that firm’s “False Claims Act Quarterly.” He has experience representing clients at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts, as well as before a variety of state and federal administrative agencies.