New Jersey Restricts Nonessential Construction; Issues New Mandates for Retail, Manufacturing, Warehouses and Essential Construction

April 9, 2020Alerts

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued Executive Order No. 122 on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, halting all nonessential construction projects and placing new requirements on essential construction, retail, warehousing and manufacturing businesses. The order is effective as of 8 p.m., Friday, April 10, 2020 and penalties may be imposed for violations.

Essential Construction Projects That Can Continue Are Defined As:

  • Projects necessary for delivery of health care services, including but not limited to hospitals, other health care facilities and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.
  • Transportation projects, including roads, bridges and mass transit facilities or physical infrastructure, including work done at airports or seaports.
  • Utility projects, including those necessary for energy and electricity production and transmission, and any decommissioning of facilities used for electricity generation.
  • Residential projects that are exclusively designated as affordable housing.
  • Projects involving pre-k-12 schools, including but not limited to projects in Schools Development Authority districts and projects involving higher education facilities.
  • Projects already underway involving individual single-family homes, or an individual apartment unit where an individual already resides, with a construction crew of 5 or fewer individuals. This includes additions to single-family homes such as solar panels.
  • Projects already underway involving a residential unit for which a tenant or buyer has already entered into a legally binding agreement to occupy the unit by a certain date, and construction is necessary to ensure the unit’s availability by that date.
  • Projects involving facilities at which any one or more of the following takes place: the manufacture, distribution, storage or servicing of goods or products that are sold by online retail businesses or essential retail businesses, as defined by Executive Order No. 107 (2020) and subsequent Administrative Orders adopted pursuant to that Order.
  • Projects involving data centers or facilities that are critical to a business’s ability to function.
  • Projects necessary for the delivery of essential social services, including homeless shelters.
  • Any project necessary to support law enforcement agencies or first responder units in their response to the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Any project that is ordered or contracted for by federal, state, county or municipal government, or any project that must be completed to meet a deadline established by the federal government.
  • Any work on a nonessential construction project that is required to physically secure the site of the project, ensure the structural integrity of any buildings on the site, abate any hazards that would exist on the site if the construction were to remain in its current condition, remediate a site or otherwise ensure that the site and any buildings therein are appropriately protected and safe during the suspension of the project.
  • Any emergency repairs necessary to ensure the health and safety of residents.

Essential Retail Businesses Must:

  • Indefinitely limit the number of customers in their stores to 50 percent of their approved capacity.
  • Require customers and employees to wear face coverings.
  • Provide special shopping hours for high-risk people, erect physical barriers between customers and cashiers and baggers where practicable and regularly sanitize areas used by their employees.
  • Install a physical barrier between customers and cashiers/baggers wherever feasible or ensure 6 feet of distance between them, except at the moment of payment and/or exchange of goods.
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand-washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette and proper tissue usage and disposal.
  • Provide employees with hand-washing breaks throughout the workday.
  • Arrange for contactless pay, pickup and delivery options wherever feasible.
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and wipes, to staff and customers.
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas.
  • Place conspicuous signs at entrances and throughout the store, if applicable, regarding the required 6 feet of physical distance.
  • Demarcate 6 feet of spacing in checkout lines to demonstrate appropriate social distancing.
  • Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while on the premises, with certain exceptions, and provide face coverings and gloves for employees at the store’s expense.

Essential Retail Business — as defined in Executive Order 107 — includes grocery stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores, retail functions of gas stations, convenience stores, ancillary stores within healthcare facilities, hardware and home improvement stores, banks and other financial institutions, laundromats and dry-cleaning services, stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years old, pet stores, liquor stores, car dealerships – but only to provide auto maintenance and repair services, printing and office supply shops, mail and delivery stores. For more information, see Executive Order 107.

Warehouses, Manufacturing Facilities, and Businesses Engaged in Essential Construction Projects Must:

  • Prohibit nonessential visitors from entering the worksite.
  • Limit worksite gatherings to fewer than 10 people.
  • Require at least 6 feet of distance between people wherever possible.
  • Stagger work start and stop times and lunch breaks where practicable.
  • Restrict the number of people who can access common areas, concurrently.
  • Require workers and visitors to wear cloth face coverings while on the premises, with minimal exceptions. Businesses must, at their expense, provide such face coverings and gloves for their employees.
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal.
  • Limit sharing of tools, equipment and machinery.
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and wipes.
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas (i.e. restrooms, breakrooms, equipment and machinery).

Additional Requirements for All Essential Retail Businesses, Warehousing Businesses, Manufacturing Businesses and Businesses Performing Essential Construction:

  • Immediately separate and send home workers who appear to have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 illness upon arrival at work, or who become sick during the day.
  • Promptly notify workers of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite, consistent with the confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and any other applicable law.
  • Clean and disinfect the worksite when a worker at the site has been diagnosed with COVID-19 illness.
  • Continue to follow New Jersey Department of Health, CDC and OSHA guidelines and directives for maintaining a clean, safe and healthy work environment.
  • Follow cleaning protocols in areas where operations are conducted.