New Jersey Adds Protection For Employees After A Health Care Entity Change In Ownership

August 30, 2022

On August 18, 2022, Governor Murphy signed S-315 into law, which establishes employment protection for healthcare workers whenever there is a change in the ownership of their health care entity employer. This law applies to New Jersey licensed healthcare facilities, staffing registries and home care service agencies. While the law does not apply when the successor employer is a government entity, any other sales, assignments, transfers, interests, or contribution involved in a transfer of ownership between private parties must adhere to the new mandate that such change in ownership will protect the wages, benefits, and employment status of current employees.

Under the new law, non-governmental health care entities must offer continued employment to all eligible employees for at least four months following the transfer of control, without any reduction in wages, paid time off, or the total value of their benefits – including health care, retirement, and education benefits. All available jobs must be offered in writing to current employees who previously held that position, until all positions are filled or there are no more eligible employees available.  An eligible employee includes any person that is employed at an affected healthcare entity during the 90-day period preceding a change in ownership or be employed by a former employer with recall rights under a union agreement. Managerial and executive employees, or any individuals that were discharged with cause by the health care entity during the 90-day period, are not protected by the new law.

This bill will take effect on or around November 16, 2022.

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