From the Star Ledger:
Stirred by the plight of New Jersey Toys “R” Us workers who lost their jobs when the Wayne-based retailed filed for bankruptcy and shuttered stores across the country, the state Legislature on Monday passed a bill requiring larger employers in New Jersey pay severance to laid-off workers.
The bill (S3170) would require New Jersey employers with at least 100 employees provide their workers 90 days notice — up from 60 — before a large layoff or a plant closing or transfer that will put at least 50 people out of work. It would also force these businesses to pay their workers one week’s severance for every year of service. The payout increases by an additional four weeks if the employer doesn’t comply with the 90-day notification rules.
More than 30,000 workers nationwide lost their jobs, including some 2,000 in New Jersey, when the famous retail giant closed its doors. Employees were initially let go without severance. Two of the private equity funds that owned Toys R’Us, facing public pressure, have since established a $20 million severance fund and workers won a $2 million settlement.
United For Respect, a nonprofit group advocating for the bill, said that if signed by Gov. Phil Murphy, New Jersey would become the first state with such a severance mandate.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, which represents 20,000 businesses here, has warned the bill will deter companies from locating or expanding in New Jersey.