Some of these more important changes include:
Impacted employees must receive 90 days’ notice of the mass layoff event or closure. This is 30 days more than required previously, and also 30 days more than currently required by the federal WARN Act.
Impacted employees must receive severance of one week’s pay for each year of employment. This severance is required in addition to notice. If the 90-day notice is not given, an additional four weeks of severance must be provided to impacted employees. An employer cannot require impacted employees sign an agreement releasing legal claims or other rights in order to receive this severance pay.
NJ’s Warn Act protections are now triggered where a layoff results in loss of employment for 50 or more employees in the state during any 30-day period. The previous requirement, that the layoff also had to impact 33 percent of the employer’s workforce, has been eliminated. Several exceptions remain, including for example layoffs due to weather or natural disasters.
Both full-time and part-time employees must now be included for all triggering events and for coverage determination.
The definition of the term “Establishment” has been expanded to include all locations within New Jersey. An employer with 100 or more employees in the state of New Jersey, even if they do not work at the same location, will be subject to the NJ Warn Act. Similarly, the Act’s protections apply whenever a layoff impacts 50 employees in the state, even if those employees do not work at one single location. This change is particularly important given the increase in remote workers.
If you believe you have been impacted by a qualifying mass layoff but did not receive the required notice or severance, call us at (212) 943-9090 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.