New Jersey’s amended version of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) was to have gone into effect in mid-July. But as it has to so many parts of life, the pandemic disrupted implementation of the WARN Act. In April, Governor Phil Murphy signed an amendment that excluded pandemic-related layoffs and postponed implementation.
The pandemic and the resulting cratering of the economy have forced difficult decisions upon all New Jersey employers. The pressures of the pandemic were magnified in the Garden State by the impending expansion of the WARN Act.
As we previously related here in our Morristown Employment Law Blog, the WARN Act was this past January updated to require most New Jersey companies to provide a week’s pay for each year of service to every employee impacted by mass layoffs, terminations or transfers of operations.
The revised WARN Act also requires employers to provide workers with at least 90 days’ notice before a qualifying mass layoff or termination or transfer of operations commences.
But the pandemic forced politicians to readjust WARN. The updated version excludes mass layoffs due to “fire, flood, natural disaster, national emergency, act of war, civil disorder or industrial sabotage,” as well as cases involving decertification from participation in Medicare and Medicaid, or license revocation under the Health Care Facilities Planning Act.
When will the revised WARN Act be implemented? Not until 90 days after termination of Gov. Murphy’s State of Emergency declaration.
It should be noted that when the law does go into effect, it will still contain the nation’s strongest rules regarding advance notice and severance pay.
Contact an attorney experienced in New Jersey employment law about how the WARN Act and the end of the state of emergency might impact your business.