TRENTON, NJ — Businesses in New Jersey will now have to abide by mandatory health and safety standards “to protect all New Jersey’s workers at work during the pandemic,” according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

He signed an executive order on October 28  that “requires both private and public sector employers to follow health and safety protocols that will serve to protect their in-person workforces.” According to state officials, it is the first government mandate of private businesses of its kind in the nation.

Beginning on November, 5, individuals at the work site — employees and visitors — must maintain at least six feet of distance from others to the maximum extent possible and must wear masks when entering the work site, subject to certain limited exceptions, according to the order.

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In addition, daily temperature checks will be required and employers are ordered to provide approved sanitization materials to employees and visitors at no cost and to give employees “sufficient break time” to practice hand hygiene.

To ensure the rules are followed, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development will include a form on its website for worker complaints that will be investigated under an “inspection protocol” to be developed.

In addition, the labor department will offer compliance and safety training for employers and employees.

“Since the start of the pandemic, New Jersey workers across all sectors have risen to the challenges imposed by COVID-19,” said Governor Murphy during a virtual briefing. “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.”

New Jersey is now the only state in the United States to leverage its public sector-only jurisdiction to protect workers in the private sector from COVID-19, said 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. “By protecting New Jerseyans in the workplace, we are lessening the health risks to families and communities. As more people return to work, the high standards we have set today will be critical in maintaining our public health,” he said.

Click here for Executive Order 192.

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