New Jersey WARN Act Amendments Set to Go Into Effect

Fox Rothschild LLP

Fox Rothschild LLP

After much delay, the long-awaited amendments to New Jersey’s Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (NJ WARN Act) will go into effect on April 10, 2023. As previously indicated, the January 2020 amendments were put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic hit New Jersey. Rather than make businesses that were already struggling with the pandemic consider the NJ WARN Act’s impact on their employment decisions, the legislature delayed the amendments until 90 days after the termination of New Jersey’s COVID-19 State of Emergency. However, with the State of Emergency still in effect, the legislature separated those events to allow the NJ WARN Act amendments to become effective.

On Jan. 10, 2023, Gov. Murphy approved the legislation, which now makes the NJ WARN Act amendments effective in 90 days, on April 10, 2023.

The amendments create significant changes for employers:

  • Cover employers in New Jersey with 100 employees, regardless of part-time or full-time status
  • Require 90 days’ advance notice of a covered mass layoff or plant closing and it redefines “mass layoff” to mean the termination of at least 50 full- or part-time employees at or reporting to any establishment or group of establishments within the state, as opposed to just a single establishment.
  • Require severance for all terminated employees, even if the statutory notice is provided. The required severance is one week of pay for each full year of employment (in addition to any other severance paid for any reason). Previously severance was only required as a penalty if the employer failed to give the proper notice.
  • Require employer to pay an additional four weeks of severance on top of the one week per year of service, if the statutory notice of 90 days is not provided. This penalty will be applied even if an employer provides 89 days’ notice.

The NJ WARN Act also permits lawsuits for compensatory damages, which includes claims for lost wages (capped at the amount of severance pay required under the NJ WARN Act), benefits, and other remuneration plus the recovery for reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. The remedies available to employees can be in addition to remedies available under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). Where an employer violates both WARN and the NJ WARN Act, the employee gets the higher amount of damages available under both of these laws.

The NJ WARN Act amendments are being challenged in federal court on the grounds that they are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). We will continue to monitor whether the challenge is successful.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Fox Rothschild LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Fox Rothschild LLP

Fox Rothschild LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide