Last week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law an amendment to the New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (“NJ WARN Act”) that delays earlier amendments that would have taken effect in July of this year, and excludes COVID-19 related layoffs from the requirements of the act.
Specifically, this new amendment makes the following significant changes:
The now-delayed amendments to the NJ WARN Act will impose significant burdens on employers. Among other things, the amendments will broaden NJ WARN Act’s coverage to all employers with 100 or more employees, regardless of how many hours the employees work; extend the required notice from 60 to 90 days; aggregate the number of terminations across the state; lower the employee threshold to cover layoffs that result in the termination of 50 or more employees at, or reporting to, any establishment within the state; and require employers to pay severance pay to affected employees at a rate of one week’s pay for every year worked and require a penalty of four weeks’ pay if proper notice is not given.
New Jersey is not the only state to make WARN-related changes in light of COVID-19. As we previously reported, last month, California Governor Gavin Newsom suspended the state’s 60 day notice period and allowed businesses to assert an “unforeseeable business circumstances” exception to the state’s WARN Act for COVID-19 related mass layoffs, relocations or terminations.