COVID-19: “Essential Employers” – New Jersey

March 25, 2020

This article will outline New Jersey’s directive and definition of “essential business.”

On March 21, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 107 which states that New Jersey citizens must “Stay at Home,” with exceptions for essential retail businesses. The Executive Order also states that all New Jersey businesses should allow remote work to the fullest extent practicable. Guidance from governor’s office lists essential retail businesses as:

  • Grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store;
  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
  • Medical supply stores;
  • Gas stations;
  • Convenience stores;
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;
  • Hardware and home improvement stores;
  • Banks and other financial institutions;
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years;
  • Pet stores;
  • Liquor stores;
  • Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics;
  • Printing and office supply shops; and
  • Mail and delivery stores.

Non-compliance with this Executive Order may result in a conviction of a disorderly persons offense, a term of imprisonment up to six months, and a fine of up to $1,000.

Retail businesses that are not identified as essential in Executive Order 107 may submit a request to the Superintendent of State Police, who is designated as the State Director of Emergency Management.

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