The national SSA has many resources and webinars available focused on COVID-19 and our industry. Click here to access news about COVID-19 and self storage. Invitations to register for the webinars are being sent to state and national members, specifically, the primary contact's email address.
For the latest information from New Jersey on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the governor’s office website and your state’s department of health here. Be sure to carefully monitor the situation and check on updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov, regulatory agencies as well as local health officials.
Please also read the letter from Tim Dietz, SSA President and CEO, that provides resources and information related to states of emergency and pricing restrictions here.
April 10, 2020
New Jersey Storage Operators May Remain Open Under New Executive Order
On April 8, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued an order, imposing additional mitigation requirements on essential retail businesses and industries that are permitted to remain open. The new order also extends many of the requirements imposed by the March 21 order that directed all residents to stay at home except for certain exceptions, such as traveling to and working at certain businesses. The orders collectively close several nonessential retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses as well as nonessential construction sites.
The new order permits self storage operators to remain open, but telework or work-from-home arrangements must be implemented wherever practicable. The order imposes additional mandates on owners of buildings used for commercial, industrial, or other enterprises, including self storage. Operators must adopt policies that, at minimum, implement the following cleaning protocols:
(1) Clean and disinfect high-touch areas routinely in accordance with CDC guidelines, particularly in spaces that are accessible to staff, customers, tenants, or other individuals, and ensure cleaning procedures following a known or potential exposure in a facility are in compliance with CDC recommendations;
(2) Otherwise maintain cleaning procedures in all other areas of the facility; and,
(3) Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of workers to perform the above protocols effectively and in a manner that ensures the safety of occupants, visitors, and workers.
We have prepared a sample letter, click here, explaining why self storage is permitted to remain open, consistent with the Governor’s orders. We encourage you to put this letter on your company letterhead and provide copies to all employees to have at your facilities and while traveling to work.
April 1, 2020
New Leave Law to Impact Storage Industry, Effective April 1
As reported last week, the new federal leave law takes effect on April 1. Employers must provide notice to their employees immediately if they have not done so already. The notice can be found here.
SSA’s updated FAQs can be found here. The updated FAQs answer questions on issues such as the posting requirements for the notice and the limited exemption available to employers with fewer than 50 employees. The Department of Labor’s complete FAQs can be found here.
Employers are strongly encouraged to discuss the new law with their legal counsel. Please email Joe Doherty, firstname.lastname@example.org, with any questions.
March 23, 2020 - NJ Governor Allows Storage Businesses to Remain Open During State of Emergency
By this time, you have probably heard of Governor Murphy’s order requiring all non-essential retail businesses to close. This order does not apply to self storage.
Self storage is not a retail business under either of the prevailing industry classification systems, NAICS and SIC. Self storage is a commercial business that rents real property. A separate explanation accompanying the Governor’s order states that commercial businesses are allowed to remain open.
Importantly, paragraphs 10 and 11 of the Governor’s order apply to all businesses. All businesses must accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements. Also, all businesses should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.
The Governor issued a separate order prohibiting local governments from imposing additional or stricter requirements on any business. For example, the stricter order from the Bergen County Executive is unenforceable.
Please email Joe Doherty, email@example.com, with any questions.