Alerts and Updates

New Guidelines for New Jersey Construction, Retail, Warehouse and Manufacturing Sectors

April 9, 2020

Per the order, all nonessential construction operations in New Jersey shut down at 8:00 p.m. on April 10, 2020.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced Executive Order 122 on April 8, 2020, which will impact business operations across the state.

New Guidelines for Nonessential Construction

Per the order, all nonessential construction operations in New Jersey shut down at 8:00 p.m. on April 10, 2020. Below is the definition for "essential construction" that may remain operational. The order also requires construction projects that remain active to adopt special social distancing and cleanliness standards.

  1. Projects necessary for the delivery of healthcare services, including but not limited to hospitals, other healthcare facilities and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities;
  2. Transportation projects, including roads, bridges and mass transit facilities or physical infrastructure, including work done at airports or seaports;
  3. Utility projects, including those necessary for energy and electricity production and transmission, and any decommissioning of facilities used for electricity generation;
  4. Residential projects that are exclusively designated as affordable housing;
  5. Projects involving pre-K-12 schools, including but not limited to projects in Schools Development Authority districts, and projects involving higher education facilities;
  6. Projects already underway involving individual single-family homes, or an individual apartment unit where an individual already resides, with a construction crew of five or fewer individuals. This includes additions to single-family homes such as solar panels;
  7. Projects already underway involving a residential unit for which a tenant or buyer has already entered into a legally binding agreement to occupy the unit by a certain date, and construction is necessary to ensure the unit’s availability by that date;
  8. Projects involving facilities at which any one or more of the following takes place: the manufacture, distribution, storage or servicing of goods or products that are sold by online retail businesses or essential retail businesses, as defined by Executive Order No. 107 (2020) and subsequent administrative orders adopted pursuant to that order;
  9. Projects involving data centers or facilities that are critical to a business’s ability to function;
  10. Projects necessary for the delivery of essential social services, including homeless shelters;
  11. Any project necessary to support law enforcement agencies or first responder units in their response to the COVID-19 emergency;
  12. Any project that is ordered or contracted for by federal, state, county or municipal government, or any project that must be completed to meet a deadline established by the federal government;
  13. Any work on a nonessential construction project that is required to physically secure the site of the project, ensure the structural integrity of any buildings on the site, abate any hazards that would exist on the site if the construction were to remain in its current condition, remediate a site or otherwise ensure that the site and any buildings therein are appropriately protected and safe during the suspension of the project; and
  14. Any emergency repairs necessary to ensure the health and safety of residents.

New Guidelines for Essential Retail Stores

All essential retail must indefinitely limit the number of customers in their stores to 50 percent of their approved capacity. Customers and employees must wear cloth face coverings, and employees must wear gloves. Stores must provide break times throughout the day for employees to wash their hands and erect protective, physical barriers between customers and cashiers and baggers, where feasible. Stores must also provide special shopping hours for high-risk individuals, and regularly sanitize areas used by their employees, among other requirements.

New Guidelines for Warehouses and Manufacturing Facilities and Essential Construction

Businesses engaged in warehousing, manufacturing and essential construction must prohibit nonessential visitors and limit worksite meetings to fewer than 10 individuals. Such businesses must stagger work start and stop times, as well as lunch breaks and work times, where practicable. Like essential retail stores, employees must wear cloth face coverings and gloves, and the employer must require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas.

Please see our other Alert for additional information about the new employer requirements in New York and New Jersey.

About Duane Morris

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Please see our COVID-19 site or contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Paul P. Josephson, Elizabeth Mincer, James Greenberg, any member of our COVID-19 Strategy Team or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.