Earlier this week, Governor Phil Murphy signed two bills of interest into law – S-349 (P.L. 2020, c.80), which requires developers to offer electric vehicle charging stations as an option in certain new home construction, and S-2380 (P.L. 2020, c.84), which provides work-related benefits to essential employees who contract COVID-19.
The first law, S-349 requires developers of single-family residences constructed as part of a residential development to advertise and offer to install electric vehicle charging stations when a prospective owner enters into negotiations with the developer to purchase a dwelling unit. This law does not directly create any new requirements for municipalities but could lead to an increase in permitting and inspection requests for electric vehicle charging stations, which your construction office should be prepared for.
The second law, S-2380, creates a rebuttable presumption that any essential employee who contracts COVID-19 during a time period in which they are working at a location other than their home, that the contraction of the disease is work-related. It is also fully compensable for the purposes of ordinary and accidental disability retirement and any other benefits provide by law to individuals suffering injury or illness through the course of their employment. This law applies to both the private and public sectors and specifically includes emergency first responders such as police and fire personnel as essential employees.
Under this law, if an essential employee who is not working from home and in contact with the public contracts COVID-19, it is assumed that they contracted the disease while on the job, in turn making the employee eligible for any employment benefit. While there is a presumption that the employee contracted COVID-19 on the job this presumption can be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence,–a very difficult standard to meet,–showing the worker was not exposed while working in their place of employment.
You should review both of these new laws with your municipal attorney for additional information and guidance.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x137.