Senator Anthony M. Bucco asked why State government workers have been excluded from updated rules announced by Governor Phil Murphy today that will allow vaccinated employees to unmask in most workplaces.
“Is the science somehow different for State employees?” asked Bucco (R-25). “If the vaccine works, government workers should have the same protections as everyone else. You have to wonder if keeping more stringent measures for State offices is simply an excuse for Governor Murphy to keep walk-in unemployment centers closed or limit customer volume at the MVC.”
Walk-in unemployment centers operated by the State have been closed since March of 2020, while Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) agencies have been operating at limited capacity since early July.
Governor Murphy announced an executive order on Monday removing the mask requirement for employees who work in “indoor public spaces” such as retail stores and restaurants.
The directive, Executive Order No. 242, specifically excluded workplaces that are not generally open to the public, such as offices as warehouses. In those workplaces, employees, except in certain limited circumstances, were to continue wearing masks, regardless of their vaccination status.
After concerns from legislators and employers about the inconsistency of the directive, Governor Murphy announced today he would issue yet another directive to allow for workers in non-public workplaces to remove masks if they are vaccinated.
The governor’s new order, however, will explicitly exclude State government employees who must continue wearing masks at work, even if vaccinated.
“Even when Governor Murphy fixes one mistake in his complex web of orders and directives, he immediately finds a way to make another,” added Bucco. “It’s hard to convince people to take his remaining executive orders seriously when they conflict with each other, science, and general common sense. He should take that as a sign that it’s time to do away with them altogether.”