That’s right. On Thursday night, fans will finally have some live sports content! Of course, the draft this year will be a bunch of men, well past their physical prime, sitting in their basements, trying to figure out how to connect to their home Wi-Fi…but beggars can’t be choosers. Fans of New Jersey’s WARN Act (required notice/ severance for mass layoffs), however, will need to keep waiting for recently passed amendments to go into effect.
New Jersey’s WARN Act, which applies to mass layoffs from employers with 100 or more employees, was significantly modified in January of this year. The amendments require one week of severance pay for each year of service to the company in the event of a mass layoff. (Upon passage, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to legislate such a requirement.) Amendments are required of employers who lay off 50 or more employees- a requirement significantly lower than prior versions of the law. They also increase from 60 days to 90 days the advance notice that is to be provided by employers. These amendments were to go into effect on July 19, 2020.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, New Jersey lawmakers have provided employers with relief from the January WARN amendments. The effective date for the amendments has been delayed from July 19th to 90 days after the governor’s stay at home executive order ends. Additionally, the definition of “mass layoff” has been amended to exclude layoffs that occur due to a national emergency, such as the current COVID-19 crisis. This change in definition is effective retroactive to March 9, 2020 so that COVID-19 related mass layoffs on or after March 9th fall outside the WARN Act.
New Jersey also amended its Family Leave Act (“NJFLA”). The NJFLA now includes leave from employment so that an employee may provide care to a family member made necessary by an epidemic of a communicable disease, or efforts to prevent the spread of a communicable disease. This will allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 24-month period to care for family members during the COVID-19 outbreak without losing their jobs.
Now this Thursday night, let’s all come together as a nation and cheer the Dallas Cowboys on towards another mediocre draft.