By: Cristina N. Hyde, JD
On January 10, 2023, Governor Murphy signed Assembly Bill No. 4768, ending the lengthy pandemic-induced delay of enforcing revisions to the New Jersey Millville-Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act” (Mini-Warn Act). Effective April 10, 2023, the revised mass layoff legislation (P.L. 2019 c. 423) will alter the severance requirements and triggering circumstances of the state’s existing law in several significant ways.
- The revised Mini-WARN Act removes the distinction between full-time and part-time employees, thereby broadening the scope of the act in two ways:
- Instead of applying to employers who retain 100 or more full-time employees, the revisions increase the scope of coverage to employers of 100 or more employees (full or part-time).
- All employees (full or part-time) are now counted towards the number of employees that would trigger mass layoff notice and severance requirements.
- The revised Mini-Warn Act increases scope of coverage by altering the definition of “establishment” from a single entity to include any “group of locations, including any facilities located in the State.” Therefore, severance and notice requirements may now be triggered should threshold numbers be met at an aggregate of an employers’ facilities throughout New Jersey.
- Revisions to the Mini-Warn Acts’ notice requirement mandate that an employer provide employees with notice 90-days prior to the first termination in connection with a mass layoff or termination of or transfer of operations. This is a 30-day increase from the 60-day notice required in the existing law.
- Amendments to the Mini-Warn Act significantly alter the number of terminations triggering a mass layoff; redefining the threshold as “a reduction in force which results in the termination of employment at an establishment during any 30-day period for 50 or more of the employees at or reporting to the establishment.”
- The revised Mini-Warn Act makes significant changes to mandatory severance requirements. These changes require that an employer not only pay all affected employees one week of severance for each year of employment, but also requires that any employee not receiving the full 90-day notice shall get an additional four weeks of pay. It should be noted, however, that a lawsuit is currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey that challenges these requirements as preempted by federal law.
Campanella Law Office will be monitoring the challenge to the state’s Mini-Warn Act closely and will post updates as needed. Meanwhile, if you would like assistance reviewing your employment policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new amendments, contact us.