Starting on November 5, 2020, employers in New Jersey are required to follow specific safety measures to protect employees against COVID if they are physically present at the workplace. Specifically, employers are required to:
- Mandate six-feet social distancing and, when that is not possible, require employees to wear face masks;
- Provide face masks to employees and require that they wear them (see exceptions below);
- Provide hand sanitizer or wipes that are approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency for COVID;
- Ensure employees practice regular hand hygiene;
- Provide break time throughout the day for employees to wash their hands as well as adequate handwashing facilities;
- Routinely clean and disinfect high-touch areas (e.g., restrooms, handrails, safety equipment);
- Follow the cleaning procedures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when a known or suspected COVID exposure occurs in the workplace;
- Screen employees before their shift (e.g., temperature checks, health questionnaires) according to CDC guidance and guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights;
- Separate and send employees home if they appear to have symptoms;
- Notify all employees of known COVID-19 workplace exposure promptly and consistent with the confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and any other applicable law; and
- Follow applicable guidelines and directives issued by the New Jersey Department of Health, the CDC, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for maintaining a clean, safe, and healthy work environment.
Employees are not required to wear a face mask when they are at their workstation and at least six feet from other people; when they are in an individual, walled office; or if they have a disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask. If an employee requests to be excused from the requirement to wear a face mask because of a disability, the employer may require that the employee provide medical documentation to support their request.
Employers may not charge employees for face masks or sanitizer. If they require employees to wear gloves, they must provide them for free as well.
These requirements remain in effect until revoked or modified.