July 5, 2020

Volume X, Number 187

July 03, 2020

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New Jersey to Permit Curbside Pickup at Non-Essential Retail Businesses, Non-Essential Construction, and Gatherings in Cars

On May 13, 2020, in a step towards reopening New Jersey’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 142, which among other things (i) permits “non-essential” retail businesses to operate on a “curbside pickup” basis, and (ii) lifts the ban on non-essential construction projects. Executive Order No. 142 modifies earlier Executive Orders, including No. 107 (New Jersey’s current “Shelter-in-Place” Order), and No. 122. See GT Alert, “Effective April 10, New Jersey Imposes Operational Requirements on Essential Retail and Other Businesses, Closes Non-Essential Construction Projects.”

Curbside Pickup Requirements for Non-Essential Retail – Effective Monday, May 18

Although non-essential retail businesses must continue to keep in-store operations closed, they may (as of May 18) offer curbside delivery service. Executive Order 142 details numerous operational guidelines retail businesses that choose to reopen must generally follow, such as:

  • Limiting workforce attendance to those employees responsible for curbside delivery operations;

  • Handling customer transactions in advance by phone/fax/email to avoid person-to-person contact;

  • Requiring customers to remain in their cars until staff delivers their purchases, preferably directly into their car “avoiding person-to-person contact”; and

  • Complying with social distancing and mitigation practices outlined in previous Executive Orders, including requiring workers to wear face coverings when in contact with other workers or customers and gloves when in contact with goods or customers. (As before, “Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees.”)

Non-Essential Construction Permitted – Effective Monday, May 18

Executive Order No. 142 also permits non-essential construction projects to resume. This does not affect the continuing operation of what the governor previously considered “essential” construction projects, which generally included hospital and health care-related projects, “physical infrastructure” projects (such as roads, mass transit, and ports), utility projects, select housing and educational projects, and other “projects necessary for the delivery of essential social services.”

All businesses engaged in construction projects must comply with social distancing, safety, and sanitization requirements. To do so, they must adopt numerous policies, including, but not limited to: (i) prohibiting non-essential visitors from entering the worksite; (ii) limiting worksite meetings to fewer than 10 individuals; (iii) staggering work start and stop times, and lunch breaks, where practicable; (iv) providing face coverings or masks to their employees; (v) requiring infection-control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing, and sneezing etiquette; (vi) limiting tool-sharing; and (vii) requiring “frequent sanitization of high touch areas like restrooms, breakrooms, equipment, and machinery.”

If a visitor refuses to wear a face covering for non-medical reasons, “then the business must decline entry to the individual.” If, however, the individual claims to have a medical condition precluding the wearing of a face covering, “neither the business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition.”

Business must also “[p]lace conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the worksite” detailing the Order’s “mandates.”

Car Gatherings Permitted – Effective Immediately

Executive Order 142 also announced car gatherings do not violate the existing ban on gatherings under Executive Order 107. Car gatherings such as drive-in movies, religious services, or drive-through farms or safaris are now permitted, provided they comply with the following restrictions:

  • Participants must remain in their car unless they need to leave it “for their health or safety” or to use the restroom;

  • The car must remain closed at all times unless six feet of distance between other vehicles is maintained, an officer or guard requires the car to open, or there is health or safety reason;

  • Individuals organizing the gatherings must comply with social distancing and wear face coverings;

  • To the extent a gathering seeks donations or other payments, collection methods must be contactless wherever feasible.

©2020 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 136

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About this Author

Michael Slocum, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, New Jersey, Labor and Employment, Litigation Attorney
Of Counsel

Michael J. Slocum focuses his practice on labor and employment law, including the defense of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge and whistleblower claims. Michael has represented employers in a broad array of industries, including health care and life sciences, pharmaceutical, private security, and retail, and has experience defending against both individual employee claims and class actions.

Prior to joining the firm, Michael practiced in the litigation department of a national firm focused on labor and employment matters in the...

973-360-7900
Jacqueline Greenberg Vogt Construction Litigation Attorney Greenberg Traurig Law Firm New Jersey
Shareholder

Jacqueline Greenberg Vogt has more than 20 years of experience in construction law and concentrates on construction contracting and litigation. She regularly assists clients from the initial conception and project delivery planning stages through the negotiation of contracts and bid preparation and has experience resolving all types of construction disputes. She has litigated payment disputes, lien claims, claims of defective design and construction, complex delay claims, indemnity claims, personal injury claims, labor and employment issues, default and convenience terminations, and claims against surety bonds and construction insurance policies as well as creditor’s rights and bankruptcy issues in the construction arena. She has tried cases to state courts, administrative tribunals and arbitration panels.

Jacqueline has been given an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

973.360.7939
Noel Lesica, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, New Jersey, Labor and Employment Attorney
Associate

Noel A. Lesica provides clients with insight into employment law issues with the added perspective gained by her experience working in-house for major pharmaceutical companies.

Noel began her career in private practice, specializing in employment litigation and counseling, representing corporate clients on a wide range of workplace issues including discrimination, retaliation, employee discipline and the termination process.

973-443-3248