On June 4, 2021, the New Jersey legislature passed legislation (A5820/S3866) enabling the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in place since March 9, 2020. Under the legislation, the majority of New Jersey’s COVID-19 related Executive Orders will lapse on July 4, 2021. The legislation specifically keeps fourteen Executive Orders in place until January 1, 2022 (which may be subject to further extension):
- Executive Order 106 (Eviction Moratorium)
- Executive Order 111 (Healthcare reporting)
- Executive Order 112 (COVID-19 Health Care Responders)
- Executive Order 123 (Insurance Premium Grace Periods)
- Executive Order 127 (Rulemaking Deadlines)
- Executive Order 150 (Outdoor Dining Protocols and Process to Expand Premises for Liquor License Holders)
- Executive Order 159 (Extension of Certain Statutory Deadlines)
- Executive Order 170 (Extension of Certain Statutory Deadlines)
- Executive Order 178 (Extension of Certain Statutory Deadlines)
- Executive Order 207 (Enrollment in NJ Immunization Information System)
- Executive Order 229 (Utility Shut-off Moratorium)
- Executive Order 233 (Stimulus Payments Exempt from garnishment)
- Executive Order 237 (Summer Youth Overnight and Day Camps)
- Executive Order 242 (Lifting of Restrictions)
Further, the legislation preserves administrative orders, directives, or waivers issued by the head of a State Agency that relied on the existence of the public health emergency (including orders pertaining to vaccination and testing) until January 11, 2022. The orders may all be subject to additional 90 day extensions.
Significantly absent from this list are Executive Orders 192 and 243, which address workplace mitigation measures. In other words, employers will no longer need to complete daily health screenings or follow the previously required COVID mitigation measures, discussed here and here, regardless of an employee’s vaccination status, after July 4, 2021. Employers may still choose to require employees to follow such procedures, and the state encourages employers to have unvaccinated employees mask and social distance, but the measures will no longer be mandated by the state. Employers should note that they still have obligations under state and federal law to provide a safe work environment for their employees, which includes making PPE available to employees to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
If you have any questions regarding these issues or the changes to New Jersey’s requirements, Reed Smith’s experienced labor and employment team is available to assist.