Like everyone else, New Jersey employers are trying to make sense of novel coronavirus and the many changes it has wrought on not only business, but almost every aspect of American life.
A few days ago, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law that prohibits New Jersey employers from firing, demoting or in any way punishing workers for taking time off because they have (or are likely to have) contracted the coronavirus.
The job protections under new law (A3848) apply when New Jersey has a declared state of emergency and a worker has been diagnosed with a specific infectious disease, such as the novel coronavirus.
“Our message in New Jersey has been loud and clear: if you’re sick, stay home,” said Murphy. The bill’s sponsors said the measure will help to keep those who are sick out of the workplace, thereby helping to limit the spread of the illness.
“Every New Jerseyan has a role to play in our mitigation efforts,” Murphy said. “And staying away from others when you’re sick is perhaps the most important thing you can do right now.”
Under A3848, employers are prohibited from refusing employee reinstatement and prohibited from punishing workers with demotions, pay reductions or other terms of employment.
Businesses that violate the new law can be fined up to $2,500 per infraction, a news article about A3848 stated.
The numbers of positive tests for novel coronavirus in our state have been growing each day, so we cannot provide an accurate figure.
Experts predict a surge in unemployment during this public health crisis.