New Jersey Enacts New Law to Protect Service Employees During Change of Ownership
Earlier this year, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 4682 into law. The new bill—which is set to take effect on October 22nd, 2023—will provide additional employment protections to service employees during a change of ownership. In this article, our New Jersey employee rights attorney provides an overview of the new law.
An Overview of New Jersey Assembly Bill 4682
As stated above, New Jersey’s new law for “service employees” is set to take effect later this October. It is useful for service workers to have a general understanding of the bill. Here are some key points that employees in New Jersey should understand about Assembly Bill 4682:
- Definition of Service Employee: Under New Jersey’s Assembly Bill 4682, a “service employee” refers to those employed at specific locations who are not primarily managerial or professional employees. There are specific occupations covered under this definition including roles associated with the care or maintenance of buildings—such as janitors, security guards, and food preparation employees at educational institutions.
- Full-Time and Part-Time Workers Protected: Many service workers who meet the definition set by Assembly Bill 4682 are covered by the law. The legislation safeguards both full-time and part-time service employees—provided that they have been associated with a covered location for a minimum of 60 days. That being said: there is an exception. Part-time employees with limited hours—less than 16 per week—are not covered by the law.
- Understanding Covered Worksites: The law applies to select locations, irrespective of whether they are public or private entities. These include multifamily residential buildings housing over 50 units, commercial or office complexes spanning more than 100,000 square feet, educational institutions, cultural complexes (e.g., museums or convention centers), pharmaceutical labs, industrial sites, airports, train stations, specific hospitals, state courts, and distribution centers. In other words, the law is largely designed to cover relatively large worksites.
- Successor Employers Owe Certain Obligations: What does the law actually do? It provides legal protections to service workers when a new company—a successor employer—takes over the worksite. If a business or property changes hands, the successor employer has specified duties towards the service employees. They must extend a written job offer to the affected employees and hold them at the same location for a period of 60 days or until the service contract concludes, whichever is sooner. If the successor employer decides to employ fewer service employees than the previous owner, they should do so based on seniority within job categories. They must also maintain a preferential hiring list for those not retained and are forbidden from discharging any retained service employee without a valid reason during the 60-day transition.
Contact Our New Jersey Employment Law Attorney Today
At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New Jersey employment lawyer goes above and beyond to protect the rights and interests of clients. Have questions about your case? Give us a phone call now or connect with us online to arrange your confidential initial appointment. With a main office in Monmouth County, our firm provides employment law representation throughout all of New Jersey.