New Jersey COVID Executive Order 243 – New Rules for Office Reopening and Remote Work in new Jersey.

Governor Murphy just issued Executive Order 243. It significantly lessens the restrictions on New Jersey employers previously implemented through Executive Order 107 (“EO107”) issued on March 21, 2020.

The new Executive Order 243 provides the following, effective Friday, June 4 at 6:00 a.m.:

• The new Order rescinds paragraphs 10 and 11 of the former EO107. Paragraph 10 had required all businesses or non-profits in NJ to accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, to telework or work from home. For employees who could not perform their work remotely, paragraph 11 required businesses to keep only minimal staff necessary at the business to carry on essential operations. Thus, there is no longer a requirement for employers to accommodate remote work or to restrict the number of staff on the employer’s premises.

• Employers are no longer mandated to require employees to wear face masks or social distance at the worksite where the employee provides proof that they are fully vaccinated. Where vaccination status cannot be determined or there is a lack of full vaccination, employers must continue to require those employees to wear masks and social distance in indoor spaces as set forth in paragraph 3 of Executive Order 242 (“EO242”) and in paragraph 1 of EO192.

• Employers may require stricter mask requirements on all employees to comply with federal and state law. Moreover, employers may not restrict employees from wearing masks.

• Employers are allowed to permit customers or visitors to enter without wearing masks or social distancing, regardless of vaccination status. Employers are, however, permitted to establish a policy that requires customers and visitors to wear a mask and/or social distance, provided the policy complies with paragraph 1(b)(ii) of EO192. Employers also may not restrict customers or visitors from wearing masks.