A Capehart Scatchard Blog

New Workplace Requirements For Covid-19 Protections

By on November 4, 2020 in Policy with 0 Comments

By: Lara M. Ruggerio, Esq.
Editor: Ralph R. Smith, 3rd, Esq.

On October 28, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 192, requiring employers to take certain precautions and measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and safeguard employees in the workplace. According to the Executive Order, the requirements outlined therein are intended to provide a basic framework now absent at the federal government level for affording greater protections to employees against COVID-19.  Effective 6:00am on November 5, 2020, employers who permit or require any or all of their workforce to be physically present at a worksite will be required to follow specifically enumerated health and safety protocols to protect their employees. As expressly outlined in the Executive Order, employers must:

  • Facilitate and maintain social distancing of at least six feet while employees and visitors are at the worksite;
  • Require employees and visitors to wear masks at all times (with very limited exceptions for such things as health limitations);
  • Provide sanitation and basic safety supplies to employees and visitors at no cost, including masks and gloves;
  • Confirm that employees practice diligent hand washing and be given sufficient break time for same;
  • Regularly clean and disinfect high-touch areas (e.g. doorknobs) in accordance with Department of Health and CDC guidelines;
  • Conduct daily healthy checks consistent with CDC guidelines prior to each shift by utilizing certain methods proposed in the Executive Order itself, such as, for example, daily temperature screens and/or requiring employees to perform self-health checks for COVID-19 prior to arriving for work;
  • Send sick employees home from the workplace and urge those who are sick to not to come to work;
  • Follow the requirements of all federal and state applicable leave laws; and
  • Notify employees of any known COVID-19 exposure in the workplace consistent with legally mandated confidentiality and privacy rules.

While a number of employers have already adopted over the last few months many of the now mandated safety protocols, Executive Order 192 certainly makes clear that the State will prioritize the health and safety of employees in the workplace over any inconvenience that these requirements may impose on employers. As outlined in the Executive Order, limited exceptions exist for first responders and emergency personnel.

Finally, along with expressly establishing the foregoing requirements, Executive Order 192 further directs both the Departments of Health and Labor to establish reporting procedures so that employers who are not following the required rules can be investigated and disciplined for non-compliance. This means that all employers must carefully evaluate how this Executive Order and the protocols mandated therein are to be implemented if they have not already established such safety protocols in your place of business.

Share

Tags:

Lara M. Ruggerio, Esq.

About the Author

About the Author:

Ms. Ruggerio focuses her practice on representing employers and public entities in labor and employment law policy, procedural, and litigation matters. She counsels clients on personnel policies and procedures including those associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). She appears before the judiciary as well as State and Federal administrative agencies, including the EEOC and the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights.

.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Top