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New Jersey Expands Business Shutdowns, Imposes New Rules On Essential Businesses And Retail Customers


New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy just issued an executive order that expands the existing statewide partial business shutdown and regulates onsite conduct at many of the businesses remaining open, including the conduct of customers. The order goes into effect at 8:00 P.M. Friday, April 10. What do employers need to know about this development?

New Policy Mandate For Essential Retail Businesses

Governor Murphy’s March 21, 2020 executive order required the shutdown of all “non-essential” retail businesses, providing a detailed list of “essential” retail business permitted to remain open. The new order requires those essential retail businesses to adopt, at minimum, the following policies, some of which affect not just retail workers, but customers as well:

Shutdown Of Non-Essential Construction Projects

Construction, which Governor Murphy’s prior order had left alone, is also a target of the April 8 order. “The physical operations of all non-essential construction projects shall cease” when the new order takes effect Friday night. “Essential construction projects,” which may continue operating (subject to the further requirements of the order, discussed below), consist of the following:

Policy Mandate For Manufacturing Businesses, Warehousing Businesses, And Businesses Engaged In Essential Construction Projects

The order requires manufacturing businesses, warehousing businesses, and businesses engaged in essential construction projects to adopt, at minimum, the following policies:

What To Do When COVID-19 Exposure Is Suspected

All essential retail businesses, warehousing businesses, manufacturing businesses, and businesses performing essential construction projects must also adopt, at minimum, the following policies:

Cleaning Protocols

Where a business is authorized to maintain in-person operations under Governor Murphy’s March 21 order and subsequent administrative orders, owners of buildings used for commercial, industrial, or other enterprises, such as facilities for warehousing, manufacturing, commercial offices, airports, grocery stores, universities, colleges, government, hotels, and residential buildings with at least 50 units, shall adopt, at minimum, the following cleaning protocols in areas where operations are conducted:


For now, we will continue to monitor the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Alert System to get the most up-to-date information. For further information, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, any attorney in our New Jersey office, or any member of our COVID-19 Taskforce. You can also review our nationwide Comprehensive and Updated FAQs for Employers on the COVID-19 Coronavirus and our FP Resource Center For Employers, maintained by our Taskforce.

This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific state law. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.


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