With the upsurge of the new Delta Covid-19 variant, Governor Murphy has strongly recommended individuals, whether vaccinated OR unvaccinated, wear masks indoors when there is an increased risk of the spread of Covid-19. While not a mandate, the Governor’s announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) latest recommendations. Masks are recommended in:
- Crowded indoor settings.
- Indoor settings where the vaccine status of other individuals is unknown.
- Indoor settings where there may be individuals who are immunocompromised or at increased risk.
Under Executive Orders 242 and 243, businesses, including dealerships, are allowed to impose stricter masking requirements for their employees and customers. The recommendations from the Governor and the CDC place the burden on dealerships to make decisions to protect their employees and customers, particularly in instances where it is impossible to know who is, and is not, vaccinated. Dealerships must decide whether to mandate masks and social distancing by employees and customers indoors.
As the Delta variant spreads, dealerships have also had to decide whether to require the vaccination of their employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had previously issued guidance that employers may require their employees get vaccinated, subject to applicable exceptions.
Dealerships must continue to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirement that employers protect workers from workplace hazards that can cause illness or injury and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for their employees.
Governor Murphy’s latest pronouncement represents nothing more than a “strong recommendation” and leaves dealerships to decide whether to implement and/or continue the following safety protocols:
- Follow CDC safety guidelines and social distancing.
- Encourage employees and customers to wear masks.
- Encourage employees to get vaccinated or require weekly Covid-19 testing.
- Require proof of vaccination for employees.
- Provide free sanitization materials to employees and visitors.
- Encourage employees practice hand hygiene. (Employers should provide employees with sufficient break time for that purpose).
- Routine cleaning and disinfection of all high-touch areas of the showroom and service waiting areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines.
- Sanitize vehicles before and after service, test drives and upon delivery.