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New Jersey Continues to Expand Worker Protections – Mass Layoffs More Expensive

New Jersey continues to become one of the country’s most employee-friendly states.  On January 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a slate of employee-friendly bills.  In this post, we discuss the significant expansion of rights for employees impacted by mass layoffs.  In our next post, we will cover the wave of laws aimed primarily at combatting worker misclassification and expanding potentially liable persons and entities.

S.B. 3170 increases notification time and requires severance pay for mass layoffs.  Beginning July 19, 2020, when 50 or more full-time workers are laid off from an establishment in a 30-day period, employers must pay terminated employees severance equaling one week of pay for each full year of employment.  The changes to the law also expand the definition of “establishment” form a single employment site to any single or group of locations in New Jersey, meaning that the 50 affected employees do not need to have been employed at the same physical location.

Under the same bill, employers who employ 100 or more employees (whether full-time or part-time) must provide at least 90 days’ notice (instead of 60) of the layoff to affected workers, any union representing affected workers, local officials, and the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.  If an employer fails to provide the required notice to any employee, the employer must pay an additional four weeks of pay to that employee. 

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California

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About this Author

Judy Yi, Polsinelli PC, agency investigations attorney, federal statutory litigation, human resources legal counsel, mergers acquisitions lawyer, workplace risk law
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Judy Yi’s labor and employment law practice reflects extensive experience in representing management in agency investigations and litigation in both state and federal courts. She focuses on managing and minimizing workplace risks associated with multi-state and federal statutory compliance with employment and human resources issues. She also has experience in handling the employment aspects of complex transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions.  Judy has conducted comprehensive employment/human resources audits, reviewing employment processes, policies and...

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Meghan Hanson Polsinelli Employment Attorney
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Meghan Hanson focuses on her practice on a wide variety of employment-related matters. She is committed to understanding the industry in which clients operate and provides valuable counsel to employers as they face sensitive workplace matters. Her experience includes conducting discovery research and drafting memoranda related to employment cases, summary judgement and bankruptcy and physician liability.

Working with seasoned Polsinelli attorneys, Meghan helps employers mitigate risk and prevent or resolve employee issues before they escalate into legal disputes, including by developing workplace policies and procedures by providing practical advice on specific workplace issues.

Prior to joining Polsinelli, Meghan served as a law clerk for the Honorable Julie A. Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. She attended the University of Kansas law school, where she was the Symposium Editor for the Kansas Law Review.

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