On January 21, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law an amendment to the New Jersey mini-WARN Act to mandate 90 days' advance written WARN notice of a defined mass layoff, transfer of operations, or termination of operations (for companies with at least 100 employees) that affects at least 50 employees "at or reporting to" the establishment, among other provisions. N.J.S.A. § 34:21-1, et seq. The amended Act takes effect on July 19, 2020.
The new NJ mini-WARN Act is significantly different from the federal WARN Act, which requires 60 days of prior written WARN Notice in the event of a mass layoff or plant closing, and provides no guaranteed severance or back pay unless the employer provides less than 60 days of notice.
The NJ amendment eliminates the definitions of full-time employee and part-time employee to determine whether a layoff meets the 50-person mini-WARN threshold. In other words, all impacted employees count towards the WARN count.
The NJ amendment also mandates payment of severance (in an amount of 1 week for each full year of employment) to any employee affected by the WARN Event, even if the employee receives the full 90 days of notice. In addition, an employer that fails to provide timely notice must pay an extra 4 weeks of pay, in addition to the severance obligations discussed below.
What does this mean for your company? Businesses operating within the State of New Jersey may want to accelerate anticipated layoffs or site closures to avoid the new requirements, including mandatory severance.
Got questions about the amended NJ mini-WARN Act requirements? Don't worry, we're here to help.  
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