January 26, 2021

Volume XI, Number 26


January 25, 2021

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New Jersey Director of Emergency Management Eases Restrictions on Certain Businesses

The New Jersey State Director of Emergency Management has issued an Order designating additional businesses as “essential retail” and permitting auto dealerships to provide test drives and pickups of vehicles as the state’s COVID-19 statistics continue to improve. The Order marks what may be the first step in a return toward normal operations.

The Order also reiterates that, to the extent businesses, contractors, or employees have done so in violation of Executive Order 107 (see our article, New Jersey Closes Non-Essential Retail Businesses, Directs Stay-at-Home, Sets State Response to COVID-19), personal care services are closed to the public and no service may be provided in a place of business or home, except where the service is provided to a family member.

Auto Dealerships

The Order permits consumers who purchased or ordered vehicles to test drive the vehicle at the time of pickup or before delivery. The purchase must be made online or by telephone. Any dealership involved must adopt social distancing policies in compliance with Executive Order 122. Customers must access the vehicle by themselves for the test drive. The dealership must clean and sanitize the vehicle after the test drive “if the customer does not purchase the vehicle.” Thus, the Order appears to allow test drives that do not result in a purchase.

Additional Essential Retail

The Order permits the following to operate in a limited capacity effective immediately:

  1. Pet grooming, daycare, and boarding businesses.

  2. Stores that sell items necessary for religious observances and worship.

The Director of Emergency Management designated these businesses as “essential retail” operations. Nevertheless, the businesses must adopt and enforce social distancing policies as required by Executive Order 122 (see our article, New Jersey Suspends Non-Essential Construction Projects, Requires Continuing Businesses to Implement Policies).

No In-Home Personal Care Services

As the state’s salons, barbershops, and personal care service businesses continue to be closed, the Order expressly prohibits providing these services in any facility, including homes. Indeed, such services may be provided only to a member of the provider’s own household, immediate family, “or other individuals with whom the personal care service provider has a close personal relationship, such as those for whom the personal service provider is a caretaker or romantic partner.” Long-term customers do not qualify as “close personal relationships.”


Any businesses permitted to operate in a limited capacity must abide by the restrictions currently in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume X, Number 119



About this Author


Brett M. Anders is a Principal in the Morristown, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He exclusively represents management in workplace law, including counseling and litigation.

Mr. Anders routinely advises clients regarding day-to-day employment issues, such as employee discipline and discharge, disability management issues, reductions-in-force and restrictive covenants. He also regularly conducts training programs for employers on a variety of employment-related topics, such as performance management, sexual harassment awareness and...

James M. McDonnell, Jackson Lewis, restrictive covenants lawyer, harassment retaliation attorney

James M. McDonnell is a Principal in the Morristown, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He represents management exclusively in all aspects of employment litigation, including restrictive covenants, class-actions, harassment, retaliation, discrimination and wage and hour claims.

Mr. McDonnell regularly represents employers in federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, the United States Department of Labor, and...

Justin B. Cutlip, Jackson Lewis, DOL representation lawyer, unfair labor practice attorney
Of Counsel

Justin B. Cutlip is an Of Counsel in the Morristown, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience representing employers in wage and hour hearings and audits before the New Jersey Department of Labor and representation cases and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

Mr. Cutlip also regularly represents employers in federal and state courts and administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights,...