New Jersey WARN Severance Pay Challenge Rejected

On April 6, 2023, a New Jersey federal court denied a request to invalidate the severance pay requirements of the amended New Jersey mini-WARN law, known officially as the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (NJWARN). Accordingly, the law’s new severance pay requirements will take effect on April 10, 2023, along with all other provisions of the amended NJWARN law.

NLRB Holds Confidentiality, Nondisparagement Provisions Illegal in Severance Agreements Presented to Section 7 Employees

On February 21, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued an important decision that may fundamentally change how and when employers use confidentiality and nondisparagement provisions.

California’s Tech Layoff Boom: What Employers Need to Know About Federal and State WARN Act Triggers

With the recent proliferation of Big Tech layoffs in California, it may be time for employers doing business in California to revisit the requirements surrounding the federal and state layoff laws. Employers that are covered under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and/or its California counterpart, the Cal-WARN Act (California Labor Code Sections 1400-1408), are required to carry out certain requirements before implementing mass terminations. Here is a brief overview of the federal and state requirements with a focus on when the laws’ notice provisions are triggered.

New Jersey’s Amended Mini-WARN Act FAQs, Part III: Liability Provisions, Penalties, and Preparing for the Effective Date

On January 10, 2023, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation, which will become effective on April 10, 2023, amending the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act—more commonly known as New Jersey’s mini-WARN law, or NJWARN. Part one of this three-part blog series provided an overview of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the amended (Amended NJWARN) versus the original (Original NJWARN) law. Part two covered the new notice and severance pay requirements and the release provisions of the amended law. Part three, analyzes Amended NJWARN’s expanded employer liability and penalty provisions and addresses questions about the transition from Original NJWARN to Amended NJWARN, and how the law applies to triggering events that straddle the new law’s effective date.

New Jersey’s Amended Mini-WARN Act FAQs, Part II: Notice, Severance Pay, and Releases

On January 10, 2023, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation amending New Jersey’s mini-WARN law (NJWARN, officially named the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act), and on April 10, 2023, these changes will become effective. Part one of this three-part blog series summarized the major differences between the original and amended law. Part two, answers employers’ frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the amended law’s new notice and severance pay requirements and the amended law’s release provisions.

New Jersey’s Amended Mini-WARN Act FAQs, Part I: What’s New and Important Definitions

On January 10, 2023, New Jersey’s governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that will make sweeping changes to New Jersey’s mini-WARN law (known officially as the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act). These changes become effective on April 10, 2023. This three-part blog series will answer New Jersey employers’ frequently asked questions (FAQs) on these changes.

Foreign Worker Visas Issues Could Complicate Employers’ Planned Reductions in Force

Businesses across industries are reducing their workforces and implementing hiring freezes amid increasing labor costs and fears of slower economic growth. In fact, reports suggest that tens of thousands of workers could be looking for new jobs in 2023 following announced layoffs and job cuts at several major companies across the United States. Many of

New Jersey Senate Labor Committee WARNs Effective Date of Amendments Might Be Soon

On January 21, 2020—what seems like a lifetime ago—Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation significantly amending the New Jersey mini-WARN Act (officially known as the “Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act”) (NJ WARN), but the effective date of the amendments were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Job Resignations, Vacation Days, and Redundancy Pay: Employment Law Surprises From Italy, the Netherlands, and Australia

Employment laws in every country have anomalies that can catch employers off-guard because they do not seem to make sense—until you look under the surface. Three examples of this are from Italy, the Netherlands, and Australia, involving rules governing voluntary employment resignations in Italy to vacation leave accruals in the Netherlands to surprising redundancy pay entitlements in Australia. Here is a quick look at some fascinating features of these countries’ laws.

Stabilizing Employment Through State Unemployment Workshare Programs

Employers may be able to alleviate some of the stress and burden associated with economic downturns by working with state unemployment agencies and using workshare programs. Workshare programs allow employers to enter into agreements with state unemployment agencies to reduce employee hours without laying off employees or disqualifying them from state unemployment compensation benefits to supplement their reduced wages.

COVID-19–Driven Layoffs Are Not a ‘Natural Disaster’ Under WARN Act, Fifth Circuit Rules

In the first ruling from a federal appellate court examining COVID-19–related layoffs and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Easom v. US Well Services, Inc., No. 21-20202 (June 15, 2022), that a mass layoff resulting in part from the economic impact of COVID-19 did not qualify for the “natural disaster” exemption to the WARN Act’s sixty-day notice requirement for mass layoffs. The court also held that for an employer to rely on the exemption, the mass layoff (or plant closing) must be the “direct result” of the natural disaster. This is an important ruling for employers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

The Hazards of Remote Employee Layoffs: Wage and Hour Issues, Severance Agreements, and Unemployment Claims

Remote work has exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with some employers hiring employees to work remotely anywhere in the United States. With the recent economic downturn, layoffs are beginning to occur, and for the first time a significant number of remote employees may be included in layoffs. Layoffs of remote employees present unique legal hazards for employers.

Can Discharging Remote Workers Trigger the WARN Act at a ‘Single Site of Employment’?

To say that COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges to employers would certainly be an understatement. One of the changes and challenges that has entered the workforce is the proliferation of work-from-home arrangements. With remote workers, employers have had to alter the ways they recruit, pay, manage, and even discharge employees.

WARNing—Burdensome New Jersey WARN Act Amendments May Soon Become Effective

There is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel for New Jersey employers, as the state’s COVID-19 numbers continue to decline and Governor Philip Murphy continues to ease restrictions on businesses. But this good news comes with a dose of serious bad news for New Jersey employers too. The state previously adopted amendments to the New Jersey Act (officially known as the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act), which require employers to provide 90 days’ notice before the first employee is discharged as part of a mass layoff, termination of operations, or transfer of operations.

New COVID-19 Relief Law Includes Full COBRA Premium Subsidy

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which became law on March 11, 2021, provides a 100 percent subsidy of premiums under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) beginning on April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021, with employers to recoup the missing premiums through Medicare tax credits.

Reductions in Force and Partial Plan Terminations: Another Potential 2020 ‘Gotcha’

Employers in all industries have faced unprecedented business challenges during 2020, and responding to those challenges has often entailed adjustments to the size and composition of workforces through targeted or broader-based reductions in force. As we finally face the end of this seemingly interminable year, it is important to consider some of the less-obvious consequences of reductions in force on tax-qualified retirement plans. In particular, a frequent “gotcha” for employers that have made significant workforce reductions during a year (or, in some cases, over a period of years) is the so-called “partial plan termination.” Failing to spot a partial plan termination can lead to costly and time-consuming plan repair work, but if an employer is alert to the circumstances in which one can occur, the potential pain of a partial plan termination can be readily avoided.