We have received a lot of calls at our office asking if movers should continue providing services even though we had clarified that Governor Murphy said movers can operate, movers provide ‘essential services’. It is not possible for us to issue a general statement that can apply to all movers because each company must make the decision to accept moves. Every move is different and not all movers are accepting moves due to COVID-19 virus.
Movers must determine if a consumer’s request for services is essential by asking questions such as does the consumer needs to shelter into their own home from storage, a contractual or legal obligation, from domestic violence or another essential situation. If you do want to accept a move, assure the customer of the precautions you will take to protect them and your crew, and advise them to also avoid physical contact with the movers, limit people on site; no children during the move Avoid cash transactions to limit contact, consider credit card or other payment.
For the movers that want to continue providing moving services, you should ask each crew member if they want to work. No employee should work if they are ill, appear sick or have been exposed to anyone diagnosed as positive to the virus. You must provide them with protective items such as rubber gloves, antibacterial spray and/or disposable wipes for use in a consumer’s home, and masks if they want to use them (masks are required for care givers or close contact). Also provide instructions on social distancing, avoid close or physical contact with consumers.
For the movers that do not want to accept moves during this crisis, it is your choice to decline moving, you can ask your insurance agent about suspending coverage, and the IRS has delayed tax filing at this time. There may be loans available to help until work returns. I’m sure you must realize this is an unprecedented crisis; there is no rule book, and we don’t know how long we will be under a State of Emergency. It could be months. We can’t control or predict this event, but we know this will not be business as usual. We will be sending out updates and Best Practices as they occur to help movers through these difficult times.
Some companies have decided to temporarily shut down, as stated in the letter below from Jim Simpson owner of Victory Worldwide Moving & Storage. Jim was former Federal Transit Administrator for the US Department of Transportation and also the former Commissioner of NJ Department of Transportation. You can tell from his letter he doesn’t feel a mover can adequately assure the safety of their employees or that of the consumer. Jim is qualified to make that determination for his company based on his experience in the transportation industry and for government. He has made a difficult business decision to protect his employees, customers and his family. Jim is a smart businessman and he has always been a contrarian, so his advice to wait it out should be considered. Business will return to normal at some point…. soon, we all hope. Stay Well, Bob Russo and Tracy Denora
The information is subject to change as additional Executive Orders are issued or laws are enacted or amended by the Federal and State governments and members should consult with their attorney, accountant or other professional with any questions or concerns.