The New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (A4)

On January 7, 2021, Governor Murphy signed historic legislation; the “New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020.” The Act is expected to propel the state’s economic recovery and growth for much of the next decade by way of new initiatives, cutting-edge programs, and tax incentives packages.

The new legislation includes programs to promote growth in the state’s urban centers, including the Brownfields Redevelopment Incentive; the Historic Property Tax Credit to incentivize the restoration of historic buildings and properties; and the Community Anchored Development Program which will incentivize the construction of new developments by partnering with universities, hospitals, arts, and cultural organizations and give the state an equity stake in the development.

Another of the many programs, the New Jersey Aspire Program, is a gap financing program to support commercial, industrial, mixed-use, and residential real estate development projects, with an emphasis on higher need communities.

There are many other incentive programs covering a wide set of areas. There will be caps on the incentives awarded each year, as well as over the life of the programs, and greater oversight to ensure responsible investment and tangible community benefits. Additionally, rules will require that not less than prevailing wage be paid to workers employed in connection with certain incentive programs.

This Bill authorizes $14 billion of tax credits over seven years.

OSHA Issues “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing
the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace”

In efforts to beef up rules, on January 21, 2021 President Biden directed OSHA to release new guidance and implement an Emergency Temporary Standard to employers on protecting workers from COVID-19. On January 29, OSHA issued updated guidance to help employers and workers implement a prevention program and better identify risks which could lead to exposure and contracting the virus.  

The new guidance is not a standard or regulation, is only advisory and does not impose any new legal obligations on employers but it does outline existing mandatory safety and health standards.

EEOC and CDC Covid-19 Updates
On December 26, 2020, the EEOC updated Technical Assistance Questions and Answers “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” which includes:

  • Confidentiality of Medical Information,
  • Hiring,
  • Reasonable Accommodation,
  • Layoffs,
  • Return to Work,
  • Caregivers/Family Responsibilities,
  • Vaccinations

Are you thinking of adopting a vaccine policy? 5 questions to ask before adopting a vaccine policy; by ConstructionDive

New Jersey gets close to 1,200 COVID Workplace Safety Violation Complaints

Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 192, effective November 5, 2020, outlined health and safety standards to protect New Jersey’s workforce, across all industries, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the first four weeks of Governor Murphy announcing the EO almost 1,200 complaints were filed with the NJ DOL against employers for their alleged failure to adhere to standards and rules to maintain a safe workplace.
Guidance from public health authorities changes as the pandemic evolves so be sure to follow the most up to date information in order to maintain workplace safety. Learn more about your obligations as an employer and ensure you know the rules by reviewing Executive Order 192
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