Signed, Sealed, Delivered: New Jersey Implements Long-Delayed Landmark WARN Law

On January 10, 2023, Governor Philip D. Murphy signed into law S3162 / A4768, which makes the 2020 amendments to NJ WARN effective 90 days from his signature, irrespective of whether a State of Emergency still exists.

As previously reported, under these amendments:

  • Notice is triggered by a termination in a 30-day period (or sometimes in a 90-day period) of 50 or more employees located anywhere in the state (i.e., terminations are not counted separately at different sites of employment) and regardless of tenure or hours of work (i.e., there is no distinction between full-time and part-time employees);
  • The rule that a mass layoff is triggered only if at least 33% of the workforce is affected is eliminated;
  • The notice period for a mass layoff or plant closing is increased to 90 days (currently 60);
  • Severance pay is automatic, and the law requires employers to provide severance pay equal to one week for each year of service;
  • If the employer fails to give 90 days’ NJ WARN notice, the severance obligation is increased by four weeks of pay for each employee;
  • Employees may not waive their right to severance under NJ WARN without state or court approval; and
  • The law applies to employers with at least 100 employees located anywhere in the United States, regardless of tenure or hours of work (so long as the employer has operated in New Jersey more than three years).

The NJ WARN amendments are now set to take effect on April 10, 2023 – 90 days from the date of enactment.  

Any terminations of employment that are covered under NJ WARN and occur on or after April 10, 2023, based on the effective date of the termination, will be subject to the new amendments.  Terminations that occur before that date are subject to the current version of the statute.

Employers are strongly encouraged to consult with counsel on questions regarding these amendments to NJ WARN.  

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.