April 10, 2020

NJ Non-Essential Construction Activity Shut Down and Retail Limitations

On April 8, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 122 (“EO 122”), which among other things, (a) shuts down all “non-essential construction projects,” and (b) mandates adoption of policies for essential retail and manufacturing operations, warehousing businesses and construction projects including, but not limited to, policies that limit occupancy, facilitate social distancing requirements and require infection control practices.  EO 122 also imposes separation and reporting protocols (subject to any applicable confidentiality laws) when a person appears to have symptoms or for any known exposure.  EO 122 takes effect as of 8:00 p.m. tonight, Friday, April 10, 2020 until further notice.

Under EO 122, residential construction is deemed “essential” if construction is already underway and involves (1) individual single-family homes, or an individual apartment unit where an individual already resides, with a construction crew of 5 or fewer individuals; or (2) a residential unit for which a tenant or buyer has already entered into a legally binding agreement to occupy the unit by a certain date, and the construction is necessary to ensure the unit’s availability by that date. There is also an exception for residential projects that are exclusively designated as affordable housing.

In addition, “essential construction” includes projects: (1) necessary for the delivery of health care services or essential social services; (2) involving transportation, utilities, schools and data centers; (3) involving facilities at which any of the following take place: the manufacture, distribution, storage, or servicing of goods or products that are sold by online retail businesses or essential retail businesses (as defined in EO 107); (4) necessary to support law enforcement or first responder units in their response to COVID-19; (5) contracted for by federal, state, county or municipal government; (6) necessary to physically secure non-essential construction project sites or perform work to address enumerated safety hazards; or (7) involving emergency repairs necessary to ensure the health and safety of residents.  All construction projects permitted to continue under the above parameters must implement prescribed health and safety policies and practices.

Furthermore, EO 122 requires that certain facilities (including residential buildings with at least 50 units) implement cleaning protocols, including: (1) cleaning and disinfecting “high-touch areas” routinely; (2) otherwise maintaining cleaning procedures in all other areas of the facility; (3) ensuring cleaning procedures are in compliance with CDC recommendations following a known or potential exposure; and (4) ensuring the facility has sufficient workers to perform these protocols.

For a full list of these policies and protocols, please refer to EO 122 at https://www.nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-122.pdf.

Please note that this alert is merely a summary of EO 122 and does not replace the need to consult with legal counsel with respect to the effect EO 122 has on your particular business, association or construction project.  Should you have any questions about EO 122 and its effect on your business, association or construction project, please contact David R. Dahan at dahan@hylandlevin.com or 856.355.2991 or Robert S. Baranowski at baranowski@hylandlevin.com or 856.355.2955.