19 May, 2020
Resuming In-Person Operations
As part of New Jersey's Road Back, the strategic plan for reopening businesses in the state, Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order allowing the resumption of some non-essential operations and businesses. With provisions and strict adherence to guidelines, the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, and car gatherings for the purpose of drive-through and drive-in events may recommence on Monday, May 18th. Specific requirements and instructions are available to business owners and building operators to ensure the safety and well-being of all. In-store operations for retail businesses are to remain closed, but companies may offer curbside pickup to customers.
State Opens Beaches, Boardwalks, Lakes, and Lakeshores
Beginning Friday May 22nd, residents can return to beaches and lakes while practicing social distancing. A new Executive Order signed by Governor Murphy outlines the restrictions and guidelines in place to ensure the health and safety of beachgoers. Physical interaction is to be limited at all costs, and while not required, the order recommends wearing a facial covering when possible. Municipalities, counties, local government, and private associations may also impose additional restrictions and retain the legal authority to close beaches and facilities if they choose. Restaurants and bars located along beaches and boardwalks may operate through pickup only.
Fair Labors Standard Act for Telework and Essential Employees
Non-retail businesses may continue operations when telework is not practical, however, it is highly encouraged that employees work from home whenever possible. The U.S. Department of Labor has guidance on the Fair Labor Standards Act pertaining to your obligation to employees regarding telework. In instances where employees need to be on site to maintain essential operations, such as cashiers, store clerks, repair workers, and essential construction, employers must keep to the minimum needed for operation, and are encouraged to follow the CDC guidelines.
Tax Credits Available to Pay Furloughed Health Care
A new guidance document from the IRS acknowledges fees associated with continued health care for furloughed employees. Employers that have qualified for the employee retention credit under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act may be able to regard continued health plan expenses and coverage for furloughed or laid off employees as paid wages under the retention credit.