Changes to New Jersey’s mini-WARN law, which applies to employers with 100 or more employees, take effect on April 10, 2023. As amended, the state’s mini-WARN notice and severance requirements are triggered when an employer terminates or lays off 50 or more employees working in or reporting to New Jersey over a period of 30 days, or 90 days if the reasons for the terminations/layoffs are related. Here are the highlights of the changes.
When conditions trigger the mini-WARN law, employers must provide laid off employees with a severance payment equal to one week of pay for each full year of their employment.
If an employer doesn’t provide 90 days’ notice of the layoff, then they must also provide an additional four weeks of pay to each affected employee (essentially a penalty for lack of notice).
Previously, covered employers only had to provide laid off employees with this payment if they did not provide sufficient notice under the law. Now, severance payments will be required even if the employer provides the required notice.
For purposes of determining whether the 100-employee coverage threshold is met, all employees are counted, regardless of what state they work in or their full-time or part-time status. Previously, only full-time employees were counted.
For purposes of determining whether the 50-employee layoff threshold is met, employers must count part-time and full-time employees at all worksites in New Jersey as well as those who report in to a location in New Jersey.
Previously, the law applied only if 50 employees were laid off in a “single place of employment.” Now, the law applies if 50 employees are laid off at “an establishment,” which is defined as a single location or group of locations in the state.
Covered employers will need to provide 90 days’ notice before the mass layoff or termination. Previously, the requirement was 60 days’ notice.