***UPDATE: On January 10, 2023, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the bill severing the effective date of the NJ WARN Act amendments from EO 103.  The NJ WARN Act Amendments will go into effect on April 10, 2023 (ninety days after the Governor signed the Bill).***

Almost three years ago – in January of 2020 – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Senate Bill 3170 into law, which provided significant amendments to the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act – also known as the New Jersey WARN Act.  The amendments were originally scheduled to take effect on July 19, 2020.  However, COVID-19 delayed implementation of the amendments to 90 days after the termination of Executive Order (EO) 103 (the Governor’s Declaration of a State of Emergency in New Jersey due to COVID-19).  Because EO 103 is still in effect, New Jersey lawmakers introduced a bill to change the effective date of the New Jersey WARN Act amendments such that they are no longer tied to EO 103.  That bill was passed by the state legislature on December 19, 2022 and will now go to Governor Murphy for his signature.  Under the legislation, the amendments to the New Jersey WARN Act would go into effect 90 days after the enactment of the new law.

The amendments to the New Jersey WARN Act include the following significant changes:

  • Employers with 100 or more employees (regardless of seniority or hours worked) located anywhere in the United States, (as long as the employer has operated in New Jersey for more than three years) would be covered. Currently the New Jersey WARN Act applies only to employers with 100 or more full-time employees.
  • Increase the amount of notice that must be given from 60 days (the length of time required under the federal WARN Act) to 90 days.
  • Notice for a mass layoff would be triggered by the termination of employment at an establishment during any 30-day period for 50 or more of the employees (regardless of whether such employees are full- or part-time) at or reporting tothe establishment.  Currently, notice is triggered for employment losses within any 30-day period for 500 or more full-time employees or for 50 or more of the full-time employees representing one third or more of the full-time employees at the establishment.
  • Expanded the definition of an “establishment” to a place of employment which has been operated by an employer for a period of longer than three years, but shall not include a temporary construction site.  “Establishment” may be a single location or a group of locations, including anyfacilities within the state, regardless of how far apart such locations are.  Under the current law, an “establishment” is a single location or a group of contiguous locations.
  • Employers would be required to pay all employees affected by the notice-triggering event severance pay equal to one week for each year of service even when the full 90 days’ notice is given. Additionally, in cases where the full 90 days’ notice is not provided, employers would have to provide four additional weeks of severance pay.  The current version of the Act requires employers to pay severance only to full-time employees affected by the notice-triggering event and only where 60 days’ notice is not given.
  • A waiver to severance pay will not be effective without approval of the waiver by the commissioner or a court of common jurisdiction.  This means that employers seeking a release of employees’ claims to severance pursuant to the New Jersey WARN Act will need to rethink their practice.

While it is not yet clear exactly when these amendments will go into effect, employers should be prepared to act quickly to implement these significant changes given that the bill is now waiting only for the Governor’s signature to become law.  The Proskauer team is monitoring any developments and will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Photo of Evandro Gigante Evandro Gigante

Evandro Gigante is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration group and the Hiring & Terminations group. He represents and counsels clients through a variety of labor and employment matters, including allegations of…

Evandro Gigante is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration group and the Hiring & Terminations group. He represents and counsels clients through a variety of labor and employment matters, including allegations of race, gender, national origin, disability and religious discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, defamation and breach of contract. Evandro also counsels employers through reductions-in-force and advises clients on restrictive covenant issues, such as confidentiality, non-compete and non-solicit agreements.

With a focus on discrimination and harassment matters, Evandro has extensive experience representing clients before federal and state courts. He has tried cases in court and before arbitrators and routinely represents clients before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as state and local human rights commissions.

Photo of Noa Baddish Noa Baddish

Noa M. Baddish is a senior counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department. She is a member of the Sports, Employment Litigation & Arbitration, Class and Collective Action, Wage & Hour and Whistleblower & Retaliation Practice Groups.

Noa’s practice concentrates on all…

Noa M. Baddish is a senior counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department. She is a member of the Sports, Employment Litigation & Arbitration, Class and Collective Action, Wage & Hour and Whistleblower & Retaliation Practice Groups.

Noa’s practice concentrates on all aspects of labor and employment law. Her employment litigation practice in state and federal courts includes class and collective actions and defending claims of discrimination, harassment, breach of contract and violations of wage and hour laws. Noa represents Major League Baseball and its clubs in an ongoing litigation brought by current and former minor league players who allege minimum wage and overtime violations. In addition, Noa has represented clients in the media and entertainment and fashion industries in lawsuits brought by unpaid interns in wage and hour disputes.

Noa also provides significant assistance on counseling matters on a wide array of issues for clients in various industries, including, but not limited to, sports, law firms, financial institutions, media and fashion.

Noa has been recognized as a Rising Star by New York Super Lawyers since 2015. She has authored and contributed to several articles and newsletters on employment and labor topics, including “State Whistleblowing Laws Provide Whopping Verdicts,” New York Law Journal (January 2014). Noa is also a frequent contributor to the Firm’s Whistleblower Defense blog.

Previously served as Assistant General Counsel to the New York City Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations, Noa defended the Mayor and City agencies against both employee grievances at arbitration and improper practice petitions before the Board of Collective Bargaining. Prior to that, she was a Law Clerk to Judge Ellen L. Koblitz of the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court.

While in law school, Noa served on the Executive Board as notes and articles editor of the Fordham Urban Law Journal.

Photo of Abigail Rosenblum Abigail Rosenblum

Abigail Rosenblum is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Abigail earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she also completed a certificate program in business management…

Abigail Rosenblum is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Litigation & Arbitration Group.

Abigail earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she also completed a certificate program in business management at The Wharton School and served as a Senior Editor of the Journal of International Law. During law school, she interned for the Honorable Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Prior to law school, Abigail worked in management at an industrial supply company, doing internal consultant work.