24 April 2023

NJ's New WARN Act Amendments Are Now In Effect (As Of April 10, 2023)

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You'll find an important update if you head over to the official Layoffs and Closings website for New Jersey's Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
United States Employment and HR
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You'll find an important update if you head over to the official Layoffs and Closings website for New Jersey's Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

There are changes to the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plan Job Loss Notification Act, also known as New Jersey's Mini WARN Act). They took effect on April 10, 2023. You can read a summary of the changes here. You can read those changes in full detail here.

Among other things, covered employers must pay each terminated employee a week of pay for each full year of service with the company. (Employers that don't provide 90 days' advance notice (it was 60) must pay each impacted employee an additional four weeks' severance pay).

The mandatory severance bit almost hit the cutting room floor at the last minute. But, a New Jersey federal court ruled in favor of the State of New Jersey in the lawsuit challenging the amendments to the NJ WARN Act requiring severance pay.

The court did not reach the merits of the plaintiff's argument. Instead, it concluded that the plaintiff, a non-profit trade organization that represents the interest of employers with 10,000 or more employees that sponsor health, retirement, and other benefit plans governed by ERISA, lacked standing to assert the claims on behalf of its members.

So, the ultimate issue of whether the severance provisions are "legal" remains open for now. (Presumably, the plaintiff will appeal, but that will take months, and the appellate court will only resolve the standing issue.) Realistically, local employers are stuck with the amendments for the foreseeable future until someone(s) actually aggrieved challenge it.

The State used to have a hard copy form that employers could use to notify chief elected officials, employees, and unions of covered terminations. A new form is in the works but not ready yet. However, employers can provide notification of the termination or transfer of operations or mass layoff to the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development using this online form.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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