New Jersey Legislature Passes Invoice to Set the Efficient Date of Amendments to the New Jersey WARN Act

On December 19, 2022, the New Jersey Legislature handed a invoice that, if signed by Governor Phil Murphy, would amend the efficient date of amendments to the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (“NJ WARN”) that have been initially handed in January of 2020. These amendments have been beforehand paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and beneath that pause would take impact 90 days after Governor Murphy’s Government Order No. 103 expired. As a result of Government Order No. 103 stays in impact, with none indication of when it might expire, the New Jersey Legislature handed this invoice to set an efficient date of such NJ WARN amendments.

In January of 2020, as we now have beforehand coated, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into regulation Senate Invoice 3170, making drastic amendments to NJ WARN. These amendments to NJ WARN would:

  • Scale back the set off requirement to any layoff of fifty or extra workers;
  • Broaden protection past a single place of employment to all terminations made by a coated employer within the state of New Jersey;
  • Broaden protection to all employers with 100 or extra workers no matter how lengthy these workers have been with the corporate, or what number of hours these workers work weekly;
  • Broaden the discover interval from 60 days to 90 days;
  • Mandate severance pay to all terminated employees at a price of 1 week for annually labored for the corporate, with a rise to 4 weeks if well timed discover shouldn’t be given; and
  • Prohibit workers from waiving their rights to severance beneath NJ WARN with out state or courtroom approval.

In March 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Murphy issued Government Order No. 103 declaring a state of emergency. Then, in April 2020, the New Jersey Legislature handed, and Governor Murphy signed further amendments to NJ WARN. These amendments expressly excluded layoffs because of “pure catastrophe” or “nationwide emergency,” together with pandemics like COVID-19, from NJ WARN. Moreover, these amendments additionally delayed the efficient date of the earlier amendments till 90 days following the expiration of Governor Murphy’s Government Order No. 103.

Now, 32 months later, with no signal that Government Order 103 will expire anytime quickly, the New Jersey Legislature has moved to hurry the implementation of the January 2020 amendments. Governor Murphy has not but indicated if he intends to signal the invoice, so it’s unclear how quickly employers can be pressured to adjust to the extra burdensome necessities of the January 2020 amendments. Nonetheless, as a result of the amendments would take impact solely 90 days after being signed into regulation, employers ought to be ready for this alteration. 

*Wolfram Ott is a regulation clerk within the Labor and Employment group and assisted with the drafting of this text.

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