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”