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Are offices open? What safety precautions must they take? How do I safely return to work?

Last Updated: 11/05/2020

Office spaces, as with all workplaces that do not have walk-in customers or products for sale, were never closed.

The requirement that businesses or non-profits accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements, wherever practicable, remains in effect. If you believe your employer is in violation of this requirement, you may report them at covid19.nj.gov/violation.

Mask Requirement

Under Executive Order No. 192, all employees, customers, and visitors must wear a face covering while on the premises, except when an individual is under two years of age or where it is impractical like when eating, drinking, or receiving a service that cannot be completed while wearing a mask.

Employees, customers, and visitors who refuse to wear a face covering may be declined entry, except when doing so would violate State or federal law and provided the employer complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination where applicable.

Employers may permit employees to remove their face covering when they are at their workstation at least six feet from others or alone in a walled space such as an office. Employers must provide face coverings to their employees.

For more details and exemptions, refer to page 4 of Executive Order No. 192.

Requirements to Protect Employees and Others

Employers must comply with the following requirements:

  • Require workers and customers to maintain at least six feet of distance from one another, to the maximum extent possible;
  • Provide approved sanitization materials for employees and visitors at no cost to those individuals;
  • Ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide employees with sufficient break time for that purpose;
  • Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines;
  • Prior to each shift, conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, consistent with CDC guidance;
  • Do not allow sick employees to enter workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws;
  • Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite; and
  • Clean and disinfect the worksite in accordance with CDC guidelines when an employee at the site has been diagnosed with COVID-19 illness.

Detailed requirements and exemptions for certain employers can be found in the full text of Executive Order No. 192.

FAQs On Unemployment, Worker Health, and Safety Protections

If you are a worker, you can find more information about your benefits, your rights, and any safety concerns you might have here.

If you are an employer or business, you can find more information about unemployment benefits, workplace health and safety guidelines, and more here.

Source: Executive Order 107; Executive Order No. 192