New Jersey WARN Act Amendments Must be Struck Down & ERISA Preemption Protected

Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) filed a motion for summary judgment in our lawsuit to stop new amendments (S.B. 3170) to the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (New Jersey WARN Act) from being enforced. In the motion filed with the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, ERIC argues that the amendments are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and seeks a declaration that ERISA expressly preempts S.B. 3170 as well as injunctive relief to halt future enforcement of the S.B. 3170 amendments to the New Jersey WARN Act.

Like ERIC’s complaint, filed in August 2020, the motion for summary judgment focuses on S.B. 3170, which imposes a series of requirements that collectively force employers to create an ongoing administrative system that under federal law is considered an employee benefit plan which Congress forbids states to create.

“ERIC does not oppose WARN statutes or the protections that they provide, but states must comply with federal law and ERISA preemption,” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, President and CEO, ERIC. “ERIC firmly believes the amendments to the New Jersey WARN Act are clear violations of the law, and I urge the court to rule in our favor.”

ERIC previously addressed a motion to dismiss the case filed by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The motion included the argument that the issue is not ripe for consideration because the amendments have been postponed from going into effect due to the COVID-19 state of emergency issued by the Governor of New Jersey. ERIC argued that a statute does not have to be in effect for a challenge to be filed; it is enough that the statute has been enacted into law. 

Click here to read ERIC’s latest motion.

For more information on ERIC’s lawsuit, click here.

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All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to:

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918, kbroadway@eric.org

About The ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC is a national advocacy organization that exclusively represents large employers that provide health, retirement, paid leave, and other benefits to their nationwide workforces. With member companies that are leaders in every sector of the economy, ERIC advocates on the federal, state, and local levels for policies that promote flexibility and uniformity in the administration of their employee benefit plans.