Murphy: New health protocols mandated for all employers

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TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an executive order mandating new health-and-safety standards to protect all employees at work during the pandemic. The order requires both private and public sector employers, starting Nov. 5, to follow protocols such as daily health checks, wearing masks and 6-foot social distancing, 

“Since the start of the pandemic, New Jersey workers across all sectors have risen to the challenges imposed by COVID-19,” Gov. Murphy said Wednesday. “Yet, the federal government has failed to provide all workers the proper standards and protections that they deserve. Today’s executive order closes that gap to help ensure the health and safety of our workforce during this unprecedented time.”

“With today’s action, New Jersey becomes the only state to leverage its public sector-only jurisdiction to protect workers in the private sector from COVID-19,” said state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We now have the essential tools and resources we need to ensure businesses are operating safely, and our economy is moving forward.”

Other protocols require employers to:

  • Provide approved sanitization materials to employees and visitors at no cost, and ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide sufficient break time for that purpose;
  • Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines;
  • Conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, prior to each shift, consistent with CDC guidance;
  • Exclude sick employees from the workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws; and
  • Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development [NJDOL] will support the Department of Health’s efforts to address worker complaints, according to the governor’s office. The executive order also directs NJDOL to provide compliance-and-safety training for employers and employees, and materials to inform workers of their rights and businesses of their obligations.

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