On January 21, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law an expansion of the state’s Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act – otherwise known as the New Jersey WARN Act. The newly expanded law means that most New Jersey employers will have to provide each employee with a week’s worth of pay for each year of service as part of a mass layoff, business closure, or transfer of operations. The revised law doesn’t take effect until July 19, 2020, but employers should begin preparing now. Here are a few key points from the law:
- Under the revised law, covered employers will have to provide employees with severance in all mass layoffs, business closure, or transfer of operations. Impacted employees must receive severance pay equal to one (1) week of pay for each year of service with the employer.
- The revised law also requires employers to give employees not less than ninety (90) days’ notice before the first termination of employment that occurs as a result of a qualifying mass layoff or termination or transfer of operations. The previous version of the law required only sixty (60) days’ notice.
- The new law also imposes individual liability on corporate decision-makers whose company fails to adhere to the notice and severance requirements.
- Under the current law, a “mass layoff” occurs when there is a termination of 500 or more full-time employees, or 50 or more full-time employees representing one third or more of full-time employees over a 30-day or, in some cases, 90-day period.
- If an employer provides less than the required 90 days’ advance notice, they must pay each affected employee an additional four (4) weeks of severance pay.
- Existing law says that only employers with at least 100 full-time employees are subject to the state WARN Act. The newly revised law will expand coverage to include both part-time and temporary employees. However, to be covered by the law at all, employers must be in operation for a minimum of three (3) years.
- Employees cannot waive their right to receive severance, unless such waiver is approved by the state of New Jersey or a court of competent jurisdiction.