New Jersey Expands Vaccination Requirements for Healthcare Workers in Certain Settings
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 283, which addresses enhanced vaccination requirements for many NJ workers in the certain healthcare settings. The important aspects of the new Executive Order are enumerated below:
“Covered employees” in “covered healthcare settings” and “high-risk congregate settings” that are subject to the CMS rule on Medicare and Medicaid-certified providers are now required to become fully vaccinated (3 shots) or have their employment terminated.
- Evidence of the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination must be presented to their employer no later than January 27, 2022.
- Evidence of full vaccination must be presented to the employer for all other workers by February 28, 2022. Boosters must be received within 3 weeks of eligibility.
“Covered employees” in “covered healthcare settings” and “high-risk congregate settings” that are not subject to the CMS rule must also create and maintain a policy where employees must provide proof of vaccination:
- Unvaccinated employees must obtain evidence of their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination by February 16,2022;
- Evidence of full vaccination must be presented to the employer for all other workers by March 30, 2022. Boosters must be received within 3 weeks of eligibility.
Until proof of vaccination can be provided by employees, employees must continue weekly testing.
Employees who do not provide the required proof of vaccination are eligible for immediate termination.
Employers who keep records of employee vaccination status must follow all applicable state and federal laws on such recordkeeping, including ADA rules.
This Executive Order applies to “covered employees” (which includes employees, contractors, and other individuals working in the following settings) in “covered Healthcare settings” and “high-risk congregate settings”. The term “covered Healthcare settings” refers to the following places of work:
- Hospitals (including acute, pediatric, inpatient rehabilitation, psychiatric, and specialty);
- Ambulatory surgical centers;
- Long-term care facilities;
- Intermediate care facilities;
- Detox and substance abuse disorder treatment facilities;
- Clinic-based settings;
- Community-based healthcare settings
“High-risk congregate settings” refer to the following:
- State and county correctional facilities;
- Congregate care facilities operated by the Juvenile Justice Commission;
- Licensed community residences for individuals with traumatic brain injury and intellectual/developmental disabilities;
The Executive Order carves out the standard exemptions for medical reasons and sincerely-held religious beliefs. However, covered workers granted an exemption must still commit to weekly COVID-19 testing. The order goes into effect immediately.
You can read the entire Executive Order HERE.
Heather Reynolds, ESQ