After issuing an Executive Order earlier in the week dropping mask and social distancing requirements for businesses with indoor public spaces, Governor Murphy has signed Executive Order 243 which allows employees who are fully vaccinated to forgo masking and social distancing at work, although employers may choose to follow existing protocols. The Order also lifts the requirement to accommodate remote working arrangement to reduce staffs to the minimum necessary to conduct the business. The Order is effective June 4, 2021.
Summary of Executive Order 243 - effective June 4, 2021
1. Employers (defined as a business, non-profit, governmental or educational entity that requires or permits its workforce, whether in part or as a whole, to be physically present at a worksite) may choose not to accommodate working from home arrangements.
2. Employers need not continue reduced staffing at the worksite.
3. Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers may verify the vaccination status of employees.
4. Employers are not mandated to require employees to wear face masks or social distance at the worksite where the employee provides proof that they are fully vaccinated, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and in accordance with federal and State law. CDC considers an individual fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
5. Where an employer is unable to determine the individual’s vaccination status or the individual is not fully vaccinated, employers must continue to require those employees to wear masks and practice social distancing in indoor spaces per Executive Order 192, which allowed taking off a mask in an enclosed office.
6. Employers are permitted to impose stricter requirements regarding mask-wearing and social distancing in indoor settings for employees,
7. Employers are permitted to allow customers, visitors, and other authorized individuals to enter the worksite without requiring use of a mask or adherence to social distancing, regardless of their vaccination status but may establish a policy that requires customers, visitors, and similar individuals entering a worksite to wear a mask and/or social distance.
8. Employers shall not restrict individuals from wearing masks in those settings and shall not in any way penalize or retaliate against individuals who elect to wear a mask.
9. Daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires continue consistent with the confidentiality requirements of the ADA.
10. A duty is imposed to cooperate fully with the Order subject to penalties.
Join John Sarno, president of the Employers Association of New Jersey, for a one-hour webinar to make sense of all this on June 21. Details & Registration.