Have you lost your job due to a plant closing of your employer? Were you terminated from your employment because your unit was transferred or no longer exists? Where you part of a mass layoff due to your employer eliminating a large number of positions within the company? If so, and your employer did not give you proper notice before taking any of these actions, you may have a legal claim under the New Jersey Warn Act against your former employer.
The Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act, otherwise referred to as the New Jersey WARN Act (“NJ WARN Act”), requires New Jersey employers to provide advance notice to terminated employees prior to certain circumstances such as plant closings, operational transfers or terminations, and mass layoffs. In the event that an employer fails to provide sufficient notice to each of the terminated or laid off employees, a terminated employee may be entitled to severance pay from their employer.New Jersey Warn Act Requirements
In order for an employer to be subject to the notice requirements of the NJ WARN Act, the employer must have 100 or more full-time employees. If the employer meets this threshold, the employer must provide written notice to the terminated or laid off employees in the following situations.The Termination or Transfer of Operations
An employer must provide advanced notice to all employees who are terminated as the result of the termination or transfer of operations. A termination of operation refers to the permanent or temporary shut-down of a facility or unit within a single place of employment, unless an exception applies such as the termination is the result of a few limited emergency situations such as a fire or natural disaster. A transfer of operations, on the other-hand, refers to the permanent or temporary transfer of a facility or unit within a single place of employment to another location. Notably, the place of employment must have been operated by the employer for a period longer than three years and does not include temporary construction sites.
In order to qualify under the New Jersey WARN Act, the termination or transfer of operations must result in the termination of 50 or more full-time employees during a period of thirty days. If two or more of these terminations or transfers occur within a 90-day period, then the number of terminated employees will be taken in the aggregate. This means that for the purposes of the notification requirement, smaller terminations or transfers that would not, on their own, meet the requirements of the New Jersey WARN Act may be added together so longer as they occur in the same 90 day period. This is unless the reason for the separate terminations or transfers of operation are caused by different reasons.Mass Layoff
When an employer lays off a significant number of employees and the lay off is not the result of the termination or transfer of operations, then the employer must provide those employees with prior notice. The layoff must result in the termination of either 500 or more full-time employees or 50 or more full-time employees when the number of terminated employees represents one third or more of the full-time employees the particular place of employment.
A laid off employee is considered terminated for the purposes of the New Jersey WARN Act with the employer provides no commitment to reinstate the employee within six months. However, a layoff of over six months is not considered a termination if it was previously announced to be six month or less and not reasonably foreseeable business circumstances extend the layoff beyond six months. In such situations, the employer is required to provide the affected employee’s with notice when those circumstances become foreseeable.Notice Requirements
When an employer is obligated to provide a terminated employee with notice, the notice must be made in writing, provide the reason for the termination, the number of other employees terminated, and the employee’s rights available under the termination. Notice must be provided to all affected employees at least 60 days before the first termination occurs. In the event that the employer fails to properly provide notice, the employee is entitled to one week of severance pay for each full year of employment. The rate of pay for the purposes of severance the higher of wither the final regular rate of pay at termination or the average rate of pay over the course of the employee’s last three years of employment.
Whether you and/or your co-workers have a claim under the New Jersey Warn Act is a fact sensitive inquiry that should evaluated by an experience New Jersey employment lawyer. If you believe your termination was in violation of the New Jersey WARN Act, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced New Jersey employment attorneys.