warn act

New Jersey WARN Act Amendments Impose Stricter Requirements

By Thomas McKinney

The New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (NJ WARN Act) provides critical protections for workers that may be included in mass layoffs due to things like plant closings or relocations. There is a Federal WARN Act, but New Jersey also has a WARN Act of its own. Furthermore, the requirements imposed on employers by the state’s WARN Act got stricter this year. New Jersey Governor Murphy signed NJ Assembly Bill 4768 into law back on January 11, 2023, which contained amendments to the NJ WARN Act that became effective as of April 10, 2023. In order to understand their rights and obligations, employers and employees should be aware of the changes that came with the NJ WARN Act amendments. The amendments brought stricter requirements and employers should be mindful of such to remain in compliance.

New Jersey WARN Act Amendments Impose Stricter Requirements

There were a number of NJ WARN Act Amendments that came into effect this year. For starters, the number of employers subject to the state’s WARN Act requirements likely increased significantly. This is due, in large part, to the fact that now the NJ WARN Act applies to employers with 100 or more full-time or part-time employees. Previously, the Act was only applicable to employers that had 100 or more full-time employees. Part-time employees were not included in the count.

More employers are also more likely to be subject to the NJ WARN Act requirements due to the amendments changing the definition of “establishment” for Act purposes. The amendments expanded what it means to be an “establishment” under the Act and, thus, subject to the Act. “Establishment now applies to every employee that reports to any of an employer’s New Jersey locations. It does not just apply to employees that work at a “single site of employment.” Furthermore, the Act now applies to employees who work remotely either at remote locations or at home.

On top of all of this, more employers are likely to be subject to the Act’s requirements due to the fact that the amendments reduced the number of employees that needed to qualify for a mass layoff. Previously, the Act requirements specified 500 or more full-time employees during any 30-day period or a number of full-time employees that represented at least a third of the workforce. Under the amendments, the threshold now sits at 50 employees at, or reporting to, a particular establishment during any 30-day period.

For those employers subject to the new requirements of the amended NJ WARN Act, they should be mindful of the change of notice requirements. Previously, the Act required employers to provide 60 days’ notice of a qualifying shutdown, transfer, or mass layoff. Employers were also required to provide severance, but only if they failed to provide this 60 days notice. Under the amended Act, employers are required to provide 90 days advance notice as well as severance that is equal to one week of salary for every full year of employment. The severance is required regardless of whether or not the employer complied with the notice requirement.

Employment Law Attorneys

Got NJ WARN Act questions? Be clear on what your rights and responsibilities are under this significantly amended law. Talk to the team at Castronovo & McKinney. Contact us today.

About the Author
Tom McKinney is an experienced NJ Employment Lawyer in all major areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, overtime violations, wage and hour claims, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, LAD, FLSA, and all other employment law claims. Tom is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey and New York, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, District of New Jersey, and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to forming the firm, Tom practiced at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, NJ. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Tom here today.