On Aug. 2, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy announced that New Jersey health care workers in certain state and private facilities must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or face consistent COVID-19 testing to help curb the continued spread of the virus. Governor Murphy’s contemporaneous Aug. 2, 2021, press release states the new requirements will apply to private facility settings including, but not limited to:

  • Long-term care and assisted-living facilities
  • County jails
  • Acute-care hospitals and specialty hospitals
  • Short-term and post-acute in-patient rehabs
  • Licensed behavioral health facilities
  • Home health agencies

The heightened compliance requirements will be enforced starting Sept. 7, 2021, requiring all applicable employees to either comply with the vaccine mandate or participate in a COVID-19 testing program (including a minimum of one to two COVID-19 tests per week). The press release did not indicate the specific testing requirements and procedures for unvaccinated individuals, but states “[t]he State will pursue an aggressive testing cadence for settings of particular concern under its purview” and adds that “[p]rivate facilities are strongly encouraged to consider instituting requirements above and beyond the baseline that will be required by the State.”

Governor Murphy explained:

[w]e are taking this step today because it has been proven time and time again that vaccines save lives and are our way out of this pandemic. Individuals in health care facilities should have confidence in their caretakers, and this measure will help ensure peace of mind for those in higher-risk settings. And we are prepared to consider additional measures if we do not see a satisfactory increase in vaccination uptake in those settings as this new requirement is put into effect.

Governor Murphy’s press release further explained:

[t]his requirement will not alter any entity’s existing stated policy requiring employees to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment without a testing alternative. The Administration will work in collaboration with union and labor partners ahead of the vaccine-requirement deadline and private sector employers are encouraged to similarly work with labor partners as they implement their own vaccination and testing policies.

Health care providers must continue to monitor COVID-19 requirements and should consult employment counsel to ensure compliance.

Read the full GT Alert.

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Photo of Kristine Feher Kristine Feher

focuses on employment discrimination and wrongful discharge litigation arising under employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act…

focuses on employment discrimination and wrongful discharge litigation arising under employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act and the New Jersey Family Leave Act. She also has experience in breach of contract, wrongful discharge and related tort actions.

Photo of Scott P. Humphreys Scott P. Humphreys

Scott P. Humphreys is a member of the Labor & Employment Practice in Greenberg Traurig’s New Jersey office. He focuses his practice on employment litigation matters arising from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the ADA, the ADEA, the FMLA, the New…

Scott P. Humphreys is a member of the Labor & Employment Practice in Greenberg Traurig’s New Jersey office. He focuses his practice on employment litigation matters arising from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the ADA, the ADEA, the FMLA, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and the New Jersey Family Leave Act.

Additionally, Scott counsels clients on compliance matters pertaining to applicable state and federal employment laws.

Photo of Wendy Lario Wendy Lario

Wendy Johnson Lario Chairs the New Jersey Labor & Employment Practice and Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s Employment Litigation & Trials group. She represents employers in litigation involving claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and whistleblowing, among others. She appears…

Wendy Johnson Lario Chairs the New Jersey Labor & Employment Practice and Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s Employment Litigation & Trials group. She represents employers in litigation involving claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and whistleblowing, among others. She appears regularly in federal and state courts in New Jersey and New York and defends employers against charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (NJDCR) and the New York Division of Human Rights (NYDHR). Wendy also provides advice and training to management and in-house counsel on employment issues, including hiring, firing, harassment, misconduct, leave and attendance, employee accommodations, employment and severance agreements, executive contracts, independent contractors, internal investigations, background checks, employee handbooks and policies, social networking, reductions in force, and employer requirements under identity theft statutes. She has represented companies in the telecommunications, retail, automotive, pharmaceutical, consumer electronics and chemical industries, among others.