As discussed in this week’s Client Alert by our partner Alan S. Pralgever, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently signed into law a bill (A-4768) that sets April 10, 2023, as the new effective date for long awaited amendments to the NJ WARN Act. These changes have far-reaching implications for New Jersey employers, including those in the healthcare industry, concerning items such as notice and severance to be provided to employees in instances of mass layoffs or the termination or transfer of business operations.
This most recent change to the employment landscape per the NJ WARN Act comes on the heels of New Jersey Senate Bill No. 315, which went into effect on November 10, 2022 and created new employment protections for eligible employees of certain private healthcare entities that experience what is referred to as a “change in control.” The law applies to hospitals, healthcare and treatment centers, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, dispensaries, residential healthcare facilities, and any other healthcare entities licensed under N.J.S.A. 26:2H-1 et seq. Moreover, the law requires notice be given to the eligible employees of the “change in control” and that all eligible employees be informed of their rights under the law. It also restricts the ability of the buyer to terminate employees and requires them to provide evaluations and documentation of employment decisions to help protect eligible employees from termination.
Healthcare entities experiencing a significant reduction in workforce, changes in business operations, or other events that could be considered a “change in control” should carefully consider these new laws and seek legal guidance before taking action to avoid the potential penalties and legal ramifications of non-compliance.