On behalf of our member companies that provide more than 1 million jobs in the state and make the New Jersey Business & Industry Association the largest statewide business association in the country, I am writing in opposition to Assembly Bill 5145.
The bill would amend the WARN Notice Law to increase the minimum number of days that certain employers must give to employees of a covered plant closing, transfer, or mass layoffs from 60 days to 90 days, and makes the law’s requirement to provide severance pay apply whether or not the employer provides the required notice.
Under the current WARN Notice Law, the consequences for noncompliance with notification requirements are severe, requiring employers to pay each worker one week of wages for every year the employee has worked for the employer. The law requires this penalty to be calculated as either: the average regular rate of compensation received during the employee’s last three years of employment with the employer, or the final regular rate of compensation paid to the employee, whichever rate is higher. This penalty is in addition to any other severance provided by the employer to the employee.
A-5145 proposes to mandate that employers provide severance pay to all employees impacted by plant closings, transfers and mass layoffs that include 50 or more full-time or part time employees within a 30-day period regardless of whether an employer provided appropriate notification required under the bill.
If enacted, this proposal would make our business climate even less competitive, as it comes after the enactment of a series of tax increases and other expensive mandates imposed on employers during the past year, including a higher corporate business tax, higher state income tax, new paid sick leave requirements and the signing of a $15 minimum wage.
For these reasons we respectfully ask that you vote NO on A-5145.