Yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy launched the One Jersey Pledge, an effort to engage businesses, employees and consumers and acknowledge their shared responsibility to continue mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Governor Murphy said he believes it will take everyone doing their part to make workers and customers feel safe as restrictions continue to be loosened and businesses re-open after a three-month shutdown that has devastated the New Jersey economy.
Under the program, businesses pledge to customers that their employees will wear face coverings, encourage social distancing, wash their hands regularly, undergo health screenings, frequently clean high-touch areas and require those with COVID-19 symptoms to stay home. Businesses promise employees that they will provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), provide sanitation measures and proper training, and require them to stay home if they have symptoms of the virus. Employees promise their employers that they will wash their hands frequently, wear face coverings, undergo health screenings when they arrive at work, and clean high-touch areas frequently. You can review the full pledge at the One Jersey Pledge website.
Much of the safety precautions contained in the One Jersey Pledge is derived from the Governor’s Executive Order 122, and is substantially similar to the proposal NJ CAR sent to the Governor’s office in mid-April. That proposal aimed to demonstrate that dealerships could safely reopen their retail showrooms to serve customers and helped persuade the Governor to allow showrooms to reopen by appointment only.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, dealerships are STILL required to operate “by-appointment-only” pursuant to Administrative Order 2020-13. This is a more restrictive standard than non-essential retail operations and seems counterintuitive. NJ CAR has repeatedly raised the issue with the Governor’s office and asked that the by-appointment-only requirement imposed by Administrative Order 2020-13 be lifted, so that dealerships can conduct sales at the same level as every other essential and non-essential retail business in the State. We continue to await movement on our request or further clarification from the Governor’s Office.
The One Jersey Pledge website contains pledges between an Organization & Consumers, as well as between an Employer & Employees. It also contains links to posters that businesses can download and display, communicating their commitment to customer and employee safety.
NJ CAR will keep dealers informed of any developments.