WARNing to NJ employers planning layoffs

If you’re following in the footsteps of Twitter, Disney and Amazon and planning to lay off at least 50 of your more than 100 employees at any one or more locations within New Jersey, the requirements regarding notification, payments to employees and penalties, among others, have become stricter.

Here are three key changes to New Jersey’s version of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act that will impact how you plan and implement your layoffs:

1. You now must give your employees at least 90 days’ notice of a layoff.

Only 60 days’ notice was required previously – same as the federal WARN Act. So be sure to plan your layoffs well in advance.

2. You now have to give laid-off employees severance pay of at least one week for every year of service.

This one can hurt smaller employers in particular. While severance pay is usually a good idea (watch our video, “Why severance agreements benefit employers, too,” here), now it’s obligatory.

3. If you do not provide at least 90 days’ notice, you will get hit with enhanced penalties of an additional four weeks’ severance pay.

At the risk of being obvious, be sure to provide 90 days’ notice. Note that the New Jersey WARN Act does not include the emergency exception to the notice requirement that the federal WARN Act contains.

Keep in mind that there are additional, more nuanced changes to the Act that may affect you. Make sure you understand the changes and how they apply to your business (especially during the transition period) or get legal advice from your employment law attorney to ensure that your business stays compliant and free from any violations.

If you are planning a mass layoff, you’ve been WARNed! Be prepared to comply with these requirements.

If you need help planning and implementing a layoff or addressing other legal issues, give us a call at 973.787.8442 today or schedule a Strategy Session with us, so we can help you.

Please keep in mind that this is general information, not legal advice. And the law may change at any time.

You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This