|As discussed in a prior alert issued by our firm HERE, new legislation which drastically amends the New Jersey Warn Act (officially known as the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act) was scheduled to take effect on July 19, 2020, 180 days after its enactment date of January 21, 2020. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Jersey legislature passed S2353 on April 14, 2020 to delay the effective date of the enacted amendments. |
S2353 states that the New Jersey WARN Act will go into effect after the “termination of Executive Order 103,” which was issued on March 9, 2020. Executive Order 103 declared both a Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency in New Jersey, and otherwise imposed a number of COVID-related restrictions on New Jersey residents and businesses.
Where are we now? On June 4, 2021, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 244, which terminated the Public Health Emergency portion of Executive Order 103, but left the State of Emergency, and, therefore, at least a portion of Executive Order 103, in place. In connection with that development, Governor Murphy also signed legislation (A5820/S3866 – CLICK HERE) that will lift, effective July 4, 2021, most executive orders issued pursuant to the Public Health Emergency.
This means the January 2020 amendments to the NJ WARN Act will likely become effective on October 2, 2021, which is 90 days after the termination of the Public Health Emergency.
However, employers should take note that an earlier effective date of September 2, 2021 (90 days from June 4, 2021) is possible (although we think not probable given that most of the executive orders will not be lifted until July 4th). Also, it is possible that there will be a later effective date – when Governor Murphy terminates the State of Emergency, since that will terminate Executive Order 103 in its entirety. Given the uncertainty around this issue, we will report on any further updates in this area.
Next Steps for Employers:In light of these developments, given that the WARN amendments likely will go into effect in the fall, New Jersey employers should review their current layoff policies to ensure they are prepared for the upcoming potential effective dates and the new requirements. Please feel free to reach out to NFC for assistance in this regard.
|If you have any questions relating to this eAlert, please reach out to the NFC Attorney with whom you typically work, or call us directly. We are happy to assist with this or any other employment law issue.|