This is a time for us all to do our civic duty. On Saturday, March 21st, Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 107. This affects us all, especially small business owners. This office has always been a resource for employers and entrepreneurs. My family, the Sharlins, have a long history of serving Mercer County and its surrounding areas with exceptional service for over 75 years. My purpose, as an attorney, is to provide counsel and guidance, so with that, I present this summary of Executive Order 107.
Executive Order 107 directs all residents to stay home until further notice with limited exceptions, as discussed in this blog.
People are being asked by health officials to self-quarantine. This is a period of self-imposed isolation, following known contact with an infectious person or after returning from a region where cases of the disease are widely reported. Rather than leave that open to interpretation, it is important that public advocates do all they can to emphasize its importance and provide clarification.
Obtaining goods or services from essential businesses is permitted. This means that grocery stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores, convenience stores, pet stores, liquor stores, hardware and home improvement stores, auto mechanic and repair stores, and others. Restaurants are fine, if they provide takeout food, or deliver. If you are deemed an essential employee, are reporting to or are returning from your job, you simply need to provide identification that says so.
Essential businesses whose employees cannot work from home face one of the toughest challenges. You are asked to reduce on-site staff to the minimal necessary number. This means first responders, cashiers, construction workers, warehouse workers, janitorial and custodial staff, and necessary administrative staff. If you or your employees rely on public transportation, please note that it is deemed necessary, but only as a last resort.
Then there are activities that are prohibited. Many businesses simply require gatherings of a certain number, such as event planning, “non-essential” bars, casinos, gyms, movie theaters, nightclubs, shopping malls and amusement parks.
That brings us to our own business. Executive Order 107 does not mention lawyers or law firms explicitly. It does however offer a list of frequently asked questions, which says law firms may continue to operate remotely. Things that cannot be done remotely, such as mail, checks and deliveries, are handled by a “skeleton crew”. Some jurisdictions have ordered lawyers to close their offices in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. State government has called on law firms to minimize the number of on-site staff, effectively relying on a skeleton crew, but stopping short of ordering a complete showdown.
News changes on a daily, even hourly basis. The best thing we can do is continue to serve our purpose and help one another. That is what I can promise I will do. If you have questions, please contact me.
The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC
is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.
Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment