State laws Workplace exposures

COVID-19 pandemic: New Jersey governor signs Executive Order aimed at protecting workers

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Photo: State of New Jersey

Trenton, NJ — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Oct. 28 signed an Executive Order that will require all employers in the state to follow health and safety protocols designed to protect workers from exposure to COVID-19.

Effective Nov. 5, all private and public sector employers must – at a minimum – require individuals at a worksite to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others as much as possible and for workers and visitors to wear masks when entering a worksite.

Additional requirements include:

  • Conducting – consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines – daily pre-shift health checks such as temperature screenings, checking visual symptoms, self-assessment checklists and/or health questionnaires.
  • Providing workers and visitors with approved sanitizing materials at no cost.
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas per CDC and New Jersey Department of Health guidance.
  • Ensuring employees are practicing proper hand hygiene, and providing sufficient breaks for that purpose.
  • Promptly notifying employees of any known COVID-19 exposure at the worksite.
  • Excluding sick employees from the workplace and following applicable leave law requirements.

Additionally, the Executive Order directs the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development to provide compliance and safety training to employers and workers. NJDOL also will provide materials to inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities, as well as coordinate with workforce training partners to create and provide training.

 

To support NJDOH’s efforts to address worker complaints, NJDOL is establishing an intake form on its website to receive complaints from workers and develop investigation and inspection protocols to review those complaints.

“By protecting New Jerseyans in the workplace, we are lessening the health risks to families and communities,” NJDOL Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said in a press release. “As more people return to work, the high standards we have set today will be critical in maintaining our public health.”

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