Getting Back to Work: What Employers Should Keep in Mind About Industry-Related Requirements for Returning to Work Following Shutdown
As employers begin to develop and implement plans for reopening and staff return to the workplace, they should be mindful of industry-specific requirements and guidance, which may apply where they operate. Following are some examples that typify the sorts of industry-related requirements various states and municipalities have implemented:
Connecticut’s reopening requirements for hotels and restaurants overlap, but are not identical. For example, both hotels and indoor sections of restaurants may welcome guests at up to 50 percent capacity, and both require that non-essential amenities (e.g., mini-bars in hotels and dance floors in restaurants) remain closed. Further, in hotels, room deliveries must be bagged and left at the front door with a knock to notify guests. In addition, hotel employees are prohibited from entering guest rooms while guests are present (e.g., no in-room bellhops). For restaurants, patrons must use no-touch or disposable menus, or menus must be sanitized between each use. The state permits bar seating provided there is no active work being done behind the bar, or, alternatively, where a barrier has been installed to separate customers from the bartenders.
Illinois permits health and fitness centers to operate at up to 50 percent occupancy. Workout stations must allow for 6-feet social distancing without a barrier, or 3-feet with a barrier. In addition, classes are limited to no more than 50 participants; masks should be worn when not exercising. For personal care services (e.g., hair salons and barbershops) services are limited to those that can be performed while the customer and employee are wearing face coverings, and, if services require the customer to remove their mask, then the employee must wear both a face mask and eye protection.
In New Jersey, under Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 157, retailers must limit occupancy of any indoor premises to 50 percent of the stated maximum store capacity, excluding the retail establishment’s employees. Indoor recreational and entertainment businesses, however, must limit the number of patrons in any indoor premises to 25 percent of the stated maximum capacity. Some New Jersey industries must adhere to additional requirements imposed by any relevant state entity. For example, casinos must comply with requirements issued by the New Jersey Racing Commission and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, and cosmetology and massage business must comply with Administrative Order 2020-09 entered by the Commissioner of the Division of Consumer Affairs.