Work for New Jersey? Here’s when you have to get the jab and get back to work
State employees were supposed to be back in their offices full-time right after Labor Day, but they will get some extra time at home.
The report to the office deadline of September 7 will be extended to October 18, according to NJ.com.
The delay is presumably to give state workers time to get vaccinated. Governor Phil Murphy expanded his vaccine mandate to include all state of NJ employees. He gave them until October 18 to prove vaccination status, or be subject to regular COVID testing. That testing will occur at least once a week, but could be more, Murphy said.
While working remote for most of the pandemic, the state had been gradually increasing the amount of time employees were in their government offices. All employees have been required to report to their designated work locations 2-3 days a week.
The governor has been expanding vaccine mandates across state government and the healthcare sector.
On July 8, Murphy ordered all workers in hospitals, care facilities, nursing homes and other medical facilities to be vaccinated or subject to COVID testing up to twice a week. They have until September 7 to prove full vaccination status.
Murphy's order does not preclude hospitals and other healthcare companies from requiring stricter mandates. RWJBarnabas Health requires all hospital workers and vendors to be vaccinated, and has begun terminating employees who refuse.
On August 23, Murphy ordered all workers on the state payroll to be fully vaccinated by October 18. Murphy's order included workers at "all state agencies, authorities, and public colleges and universities — whether they be full- or part-time, or contract employees.”
While Murphy is expanding vaccine mandates for healthcare and government workers, many private businesses have been reluctant to do the same. A survey released by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association shows most employers want to mandate vaccines, but fear losing workers who refuse.