Coronavirus

NJGCA Status: Most of our staff is working remotely. If you have any questions please contact the appropriate person directly:

***Important Notice: Starting Wednesday, April 1, all employers with fewer than 500 employees will have to provide the new Federal FFCRA Leave to all their employees. The US Department of Labor just released the official notice which all eligible employers must provide their employees and which must be posted at the worksite. You can download the notification HERE and read DOL’s FAQ about the notice HERE.***

 

UPDATES AS OF 3/26/20:

Read our update for March 27th

UPDATES AS OF 3/26/20:

See Road Warrior – March 26th, 2020

UPDATES AS OF 3/25/20:

Read our update for March 25th

UPDATES AS OF 3/24/20:

Read our update for March 24th

UPDATES AS OF 3/23/20:

Read our update for March 23rd

UPDATES AS OF 3/21/20:

See Wildfire Alert – March 21, 2020

UPDATES AS OF 3/20/20:

Read our update for March 20th

UPDATES AS OF 3/19/20:

Bergen County cancels total retail shutdown Executive Order scheduled to go into effect Saturday. Please see 3/18/20 Road Warrior below for more information on Bergen County’s order as well as the State Executive Order. 

UPDATES AS OF 3/18/20:

See Road Warrior – March 18th, 2020

UPDATES AS OF 3/17/20:

  • Gov. Murphy signed an Executive Order Monday, March 16th that all non-essential businesses must close between 8pm and 5am until further notice. Gas Stations are essential businesses, as are “food stores” like convenience stores. Auto repair businesses would not be included though, if any of you are open past 8pm. All businesses may continue operation outside of those hours, but must not have more than 50 persons in the same area and all persons present must be adhering to social distance rules, chiefly remain at least 6 feet away from each other, wash hands frequently. Travel for non-essential purposes between those hours is “strongly discouraged” but it is NOT being made illegal, so it is not technically a curfew. This goes into effect 8pm today, March 16. You can read the full Executive Order here: https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200316c.shtml
  • Many members have reached out to us with concern that if the situation worsens, they will not have enough employees on-site to man the gas pumps, effectively forcing them to close because of the self-serve prohibitionIf this happens to you and you need to close for lack of employees, please contact us immediately so we can inform the State of the seriousness of the situation.   We have been actively pursuing this issue since last Monday.  Please be prepared to MAKE PHONE CALLS and send emails to both Governor Murphy and your state legislators.
  • Expect significantly reduced gasoline demand as fewer people commute to the office and to schools. Oil prices are already plummeting, now hovering around $30 a barrel, I advise you to use the declining oil prices to keep your margin high and keep your business afloat in current crisis.
  • I reiterate: No gouging on any product. The Attorney General and local enforcement officials are on the lookout for any kind of gouging, much more so than during the typical state of emergency. All products are covered, especially all food, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and disinfectants. In Jersey City they were giving out $10,000 fines (per product) to a business which raised the price of hand sanitizer from $3 to $6. Here is the language of the law:

The State of Emergency declaration triggers the price gouging law (N.J.S.A. 56:8-109).

Specifically, this law makes it an unlawful practice to sell merchandise at what constitutes an excessive price increase. An excessive price increase is defined as:

“Excessive price increase” means a price that is excessive as compared to the price at which the consumer good or service was sold or offered for sale by the seller in the usual course of business immediately prior to the state of emergency. A price shall be deemed excessive if:

(1) The price exceeds by more than 10% the price at which the good or service was sold or offered for sale by the seller in the usual course of business immediately prior to the state of emergency, unless the price charged by the seller is attributable to additional costs imposed by the seller’s supplier or other costs of providing the good or service during the state of emergency;

(2) In those situations where the increase in price is attributable to additional costs imposed by the seller’s supplier or additional costs of providing the good or service during the state of emergency, the price represents an increase of more than 10% in the amount of markup from cost, compared to the markup customarily applied by the seller in the usual course of business immediately prior to the state of emergency.

A violation of the law is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. Each individual sale of merchandise is considered a separate and distinct event.

The Governor and the Attorney General have already made it clear that they are on the lookout for any instance of price gouging on any item, especially bottled water, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. They are clearly looking to hit someone with a fine, don’t let it be you!

  • MVC inspection sticker extension: All inspection stickers due to expire in March, April, and May have been given a 2-month extension. Central Inspection Lanes have been shut down for at least the next 2 weeks. You can read the press release here: https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/press/archives/2020/031320.htm
  • Federal and State governments are working on legislation and policies to address some of the outcomes of the current situation. We will have more info on these in the near future, there is a lot of ideas being thrown around at both the federal and state level.
  • Keep everything clean, advise having gas pumpers wear gloves for their protection as much as the customers, or wipe down credit cards with disinfectant before handing back to the customer. Some retailers have been requesting the use of cards only, as these are easier to disinfect. Also practice these additional hygiene methods to prevent the spread of the virus:
    • Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Avoid touching your face
    • Disinfect common areas, such as doorknobs, telephones, switches, handles, computers, etc.
    • For store operators, NACS has partnered with Ready Training Online (RTO), which provides online training solutions for the convenience, restaurant, and retail industries on how to prevent the spread of illness at businesses: https://readytrainingonline.com/preventing-illness/
  • The current situation is to remain this way for at least the next two weeks, and the CDC is predicting it will be closer to 8 weeks.
  • We are in contact with the State, if you have problems which arise that you think the State needs to be aware of, please contact us, it is likely others are having the same concern. We will make sure your issues are brought to their attention.

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As you are all aware, the Coronavirus and the respiratory disease it causes, COVID-19, has posed a major global public health crisis that is currently having an effect on the business market. In order to protect yourself, your customers; and your businesses;  employment attorney and NJGCA MBP Steven Horowitz has created two forms for you to print with your letterhead and post at your businesses and distribute to your employees:

Notice for Customers

Notice for Employees

 

NJGCA MBP CSG Law has also created a COVID-19 page with helpful resources and have established the CSG COVID-19 Crisis Management Task Force to provide guidance: https://www.csglaw.com/csg-covid19-resource-center

 

Governor Murphy Executive Orders:

Governors Executive Order 108 – March 21, 2020

Governors Executive Order 107- March 21, 2020

Governors Executive Order – March 16th, 2020

 

Additionally, the following NJGCA links and trustworthy websites contain useful information on how businesses can prepare for and help slow the spread of Coronavirus and what precautionary measures to take:

Email template to customers that approve self-serve during Coronavirus outbreak

CDC Resources for Businesses and Employers

State of New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub

New Jersey Business Page – COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus Information for New Jersey Businesses

New Jersey Department of Health COVID-19: A Guide for Businesses

 

Please feel free to call the office at 732-256-9646 or email michelle@njgca.org with any other questions you may have