We can all feel the ground shifting beneath our feet as the COVID-19 pandemic brings with it seismic changes to society. A few days ago, emergency legislation was again approved by the New Jersey legislature and was then signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy.
The employment law takes effect immediately, delaying implementation of the New Jersey WARN Act that was passed in January of this year.
The Warn Act amendment had been scheduled to go into effect in mid-July of this year, redefining “mass layoff” for all New Jersey companies with at least 100 full- and part-time employees. The measure calls for a 90-day advance notice of layoffs in the affected companies before the layoffs begin. Those employers that violated the law are subject to hefty fines, a recent news article stated.
The measure just signed by Murphy a few days ago provides two big exemptions to the WARN Act amendment:
- An exemption is provided for layoffs “caused by a fire, flood, national disaster, national emergency, act of war, civil disorder, or certain other events.” That exemption obviously includes the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Secondly, the new measure delays implementation of the amendment for 90 days after Murphy’s stay-at-home executive order is terminated.
Though the WARN Act amendment has been postponed, there is at this moment no evidence that the exemptions provided for in the recent measure will be made permanent, the news article stated.
The best way to understand how recent changes will affect your business is to contact a Morristown employment law attorney experienced in working with businesses of all sizes across the state.