Employer Obligations Increased by New Jersey’s New WARN Act
On January 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 3170 amending New Jersey’s version of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) that increases New Jersey employers’ obligations to provide advance notice and severance to employees when conducting mass layoffs.
New Jersey’s current version of the federal WARN Act, the “Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act,” applies to any organization that employs 100 or more full-time employees in a single establishment. If during any 30 day period, the employer terminates: (i) 500 or more full-time employees; or (ii) 50 or more of the full-time employees representing one-third of full-time employees at the establishment, the employer is required to provide the subject employees with 60 days’ advance notice of the mass layoff.
The new legislation effective July 19, 2020, contains sweeping changes that include the following:
- Broadens the definition of “mass layoff” to include part-time employees when calculating the number of employees being terminated
- Expands the law to apply to all employer’s locations within the state of New Jersey rather than an isolated establishment
- Requires employers to provide notice of a shutdown or mass layoff at least 90 days in advance of the event
- Requires employers to pay affected employees severance equivalent to a week’s wages for each year of service
- Implements an employer’s obligation to pay an additional four weeks of severance if the employer fails to provide the statutory 90 days’ notice
As a result of the foregoing, New Jersey employers now face new obstacles when managing mass layoffs.
If you would like more information on this issue or if your business needs employment law guidance, please contact Santomassimo Davis LLP. Our team of lawyers, experienced in compliance, can help effectively minimize your company’s risk and avoid the unnecessary liabilities many businesses unknowingly face.
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