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What should I do if I think my co-worker has COVID-19?

Last Updated: 11/24/2020

NOTE: It's important to prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace. Employees should not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin and be sure to maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed coronavirus infection.

Under Executive Order 107, if your job can be performed from home, you should be performing it at home. Your employer must permit you to do so. If you believe your employer is violating Executive Order 107, please visit https://covid19.nj.gov/violation.

Under Executive Order No. 192, employers that require or permit their workforce to be physically present at a worksite must abide by the following requirements, at a minimum, to protect employees, customers, and others who come into contact with its operations:

  • Require workers and customers to maintain at least six feet of distance from one another, to the maximum extent possible;
  • Require everyone to wear face masks, except when an employee is at their workstation at least six feet from others, or is alone in a walled space such as an office - Note: employers may be authorized to prevent individuals who refuse to wear a mask from entering the worksite, where such actions are consistent with state and federal law;
  • Provide face masks for their employees;
  • 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.

In addition, the Governor has issued Executive Orders outlining additional policies that businesses must adopt based on industry. For more on these mandatory policies, refer to this article.

If your employer is not following COVID-19 workplace health and safety protections (Executive Order 192), there is a dedicated intake process maintained by the New Jersey Department of Labor. New Jersey's workplace health and safety protections are summarized here. If you are a worker (or representing one) filing a complaint against your employer, you can file workplace safety complaints here.

You can report a possible violation of all other COVID-related Executive Orders using this online form: https://covid19.nj.gov/violation.

For more guidance on how businesses can prepare their work places for COVID-19, refer to the CDC's guidelines.

Source: Executive Order No. 107; https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html; Executive Order No. 192