By Jennifer Vorih, Esq., Ty Hyderally, Esq.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced yesterday that the next phase in restarting New Jersey’s economy will begin on June 15. As of that date, outdoor dining will be allowed, as well as limited in-person non-essential retail operations. On June 22, hair salons and barber shops will be allowed to reopen. Stage 2 of the Road Back also includes limited reopening of fitness centers and gyms, limited in-person government services, such as the Motor Vehicle Commission, and in-person clinical research and laboratories. In addition, museums and libraries will reopen in Stage 2, and youth summer programs should begin on July 6.
With more businesses reopening, many New Jersey employees will be relieved to get back to work. Of course, it still won’t be “business as usual.” New Jerseyans are still asked to wear masks in public, wash hands frequently, practice social distancing, and limit gatherings. Businesses are also required to disinfect workplaces. Further, all New Jersey employees who can work from home should continue to do so during Stage 2.
Those New Jersey employees who are being called back to work may feel nervous about re-entering the workplace. If you are concerned that your workplace is not being disinfected as it should, if you are not being allowed to work from home when you believe you could, or if you think that your employer is violating public policy by demanding that you come back to work too soon, you may want to consult with an experienced employment attorney. You may also want some advice if your employer is requiring you to sign a waiver absolving them of responsibility if you are exposed to COVID-19.
We do not yet know when New Jersey will enter Stage 3 of its reopening process, as that depends on the continued success of the public health measures taken in the State. When we do get to Stage 3, we can look forward to more New Jersey employees getting back to work in: expanded dining, critical in-office work, limited entertainment, expanded personal care operations, and even bars…with limited capacity. In Stage 3, still, all workers who can work from home should continue to do so.
Obviously, the pandemic has had an enormous impact on employees and employers, leaving many New Jersey workers unemployed. If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans looking for work, you can add a new website to your search list: the State of New Jersey COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring Portal, at https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/?search-offset=0&Facets.filterbox.filter0=%5B%5D&Facets.filterbox.filter1=%5B%5D. The portal includes jobs in health care and human services, grocery stores and food delivery, retail, shipping, logistics and transportation, and other essential businesses.
This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice, and may not reasonably be relied upon as such. If you face a legal issue, you should consult a qualified attorney for independent legal advice with regard to your particular set of facts. This blog may constitute attorney advertising. This blog is not intended to communicate with anyone in a state or other jurisdiction where such a blog may fail to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state of jurisdiction.