New Law Protecting Health Care Workers Through Changes in Employer
Governor Murphy yesterday signed S-315, establishing employment protections for workers in the health care sector when there is a change in control of their employer. The bill requires any change in control to be made via a contract or agreement between all parties, that preserves the wages, benefits, and employment status of current employees.
Under the new law, non-governmental health care employers 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.
Employees retained as a result of this policy may not be let go during the four-month transitional period, unless the successor employer downsizes the total number of positions – in which case priority must be given to employees based on seniority and experience.
At the end of the transitional period, the employer must conduct a written performance evaluation of each employee they retained during the transition period and offer to keep them on board if that employee’s performance was satisfactory.
These new rules apply to sales, transfers, and other arrangements that change the control of a healthcare entity, including consolidations, mergers, and reorganizations.
Employers found in violation of these new rules will be subject to penalties for noncompliance.