Navigating the complexities of employment law can be daunting, especially when dealing with an unexpected job loss or termination. One concern is whether or not you may be entitled to severance pay.
Severance pay is a payment made by an employer to an employee when their employment ends. It is typically calculated based on the length of the employee’s service and is intended to provide financial support during the transition to new employment. While federal law does not mandate severance pay, state laws vary significantly, and in some cases, employers may be required to offer severance packages.
New Jersey WARN Act and Its Impact on Severance Pay
In New Jersey, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act is crucial in determining an employee’s right to severance pay. Like its federal counterpart, the New Jersey WARN Act requires employers to provide advance notice of significant layoffs or plant closings. However, the New Jersey WARN Act further mandates severance pay under certain conditions.
As of 2023, New Jersey has updated its WARN Act regulations, significantly changing the state’s severance pay requirements. Under the prior law, employers were required to pay severance when they failed to provide the requisite 60-day notice before large-scale layoffs or plant closings.
The new regulations, however, require employers with establishments in New Jersey to pay severance—one week of pay for every year of service—to all affected employees, even when proper notice is provided. If you have worked for your company for 10 years, you are entitled to 10 weeks of severance pay, regardless of whether your employer provided advance notice of your job loss.
Moreover, if an employer fails to provide the requisite 90-day notice, they must pay an additional four weeks of wages. This change represents a significant shift in New Jersey employment law and potentially impacts many workers throughout the state.
While the updated New Jersey WARN Act provides strong protections for employees, it is essential to remember that not all employers are subject to these rules. The law applies only to employers with 100 or more full-time employees. Furthermore, the severance pay requirements are triggered only when an employer lays off 50 or more employees within 30 days.
It is also worth noting that the New Jersey WARN Act does not prohibit employers from offering more generous severance packages. Many employers offer severance benefits beyond what the law requires as part of a broader strategy to maintain good employee relations and protect their reputation.
Our South Jersey Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Can Help You Get Your Entitled Severance Pay
In certain situations, your employer is required to provide you with severance pay. If they fail to do so or do not offer you an adequate amount, you may have legal options. Speak with our South Jersey employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. to learn your options. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.