Covid-19 has made working and living an impossible task this year for everyone. There are no federal standards on how to handle the pandemic so New Jersey has had to make its own. Workers are trying to get back to work but the threat of getting sick and potentially dying are in the back of everyone’s mind. Most workplaces have had their employees working from home during this time but not everyone has that luxury. For those essential workers who must go into a physical location, Gov. Phil Murphy’s guidelines are a relief. With every precaution taken, however, there is still a chance that you can contract Covid-19 in the workplace.
If you do, is your employer liable and do you need to contact an NJ workplace injury lawyer?
NJ Covid-19 Guidelines for Workplaces
So what are the state-mandated guidelines and are they enough? With Covid-19 always changing and no federal guidance, no restrictions can ever truly be enough. The current restrictions are as follows:
- Employers must provide masks to employees at the company’s expense
- Anyone who enters the building is required to wear a mask
- Workers must keep 6 feet apart from each other at all times
- Daily health screenings of employees must be conducted. This includes visual symptom checking, temperature screening, among others.
- Employers must provide workers with breaks throughout the day to wash their hands
- If there is possible exposure to the virus, employees must be notified
- Employers must provide anyone who enters the building with sanitizing materials at the employer’s expense
- Employers must be routinely cleaning and disinfecting high touch areas
All of these guidelines are meant to ensure a safe work environment. If your employer is not meeting these standards, the Labor Department has created an online complaint form. You should also speak with an NJ workplace injury lawyer to discuss your options. Some New Jersey residents argue that these guidelines are too strict and that it causes a financial burden for employers who are trying to stay afloat in this economy.
There are penalties that employers who do not follow these guidelines can be fined, have the business closed, and can even face up to six months in prison. Being exposed to Covid-19 at the workplace can be a death sentence and your employer should face consequences. If you have contracted Covid-19 at the workplace and want to discuss your options contact an NJ workplace injury lawyer.
NJ Covid-19 Guidelines and Workers’ Compensation
Obtaining workers’ compensation for contracting Covid-19 in the workplace is difficult. Healthcare workers in most states can file a workers’ compensation claim. However, other employees may have a much more difficult time obtaining those same rights. New Jersey has filed several bills to address who can and cannot claim workers’ compensation benefits. It is always best to discuss your case with an NJ workplace injury lawyer.
At the time of this post, New Jersey has enacted that all essential workers can obtain workers comp benefits. There are other bills still pending and this can change at any moment. Contact the Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. at F:P:Sub:Phone} to discuss your Covid-19 injury with an NJ workplace injury lawyer.