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New Jersey Law Provides Enhanced Protections to Service Workers

New Jersey employers should be aware that, effective October 22, 2023, a new law provides enhanced protections to Service Workers during changes in ownership. Assembly Bill 4682/Senate Bill 2389 provides employment protections for service employees who have been working at a covered location full-time or part-time, at least 16 hours per week for 60 or more days.

A “service employee” means an individual employed or assigned to a covered location on a full or part-time basis for at least 60 days and who is not a managerial or professional employee or regularly scheduled to work less than 16 hours per week in: (1) connection with the care or maintenance of a building or property, and includes but is not limited to work performed by a security guard; a front desk worker; a janitor; a maintenance employee; building superintendent; grounds maintenance worker; a stationary fireman; elevator operator and starter; or window cleaner; (2) passenger related security services, cargo related and ramp services, in-terminal and passenger handling and cleaning services at an airport; or (3) food preparation services at a primary or secondary school, or a tertiary educational institution. A “service employee” does not include any individual who performs work on any building, structural, electric, HVAC, or plumbing project, if the work requires a permit to be issued by a municipal building or construction department.

A “covered location” includes the following, both publicly and privately owned:

  • Multi-family residential building with more than 50 units;

  • Commercial center or complex or an office building or complex occupying more than 100,000 square feet;

  • Primary and secondary school, or tertiary educational institution;

  • Cultural center or complex, such as a museum, convention center, arena, or performance hall;

  • Industrial site or pharmaceutical lab;

  • Airport and train station;

  • Hospital, nursing care facility, senior care centers, or other health care provider location;

  • State courts; and

  • Warehouse or distribution center.

Fifteen days before terminating any service contract or contracting out services previously performed by the covered entity, or selling or transferring any property where service employees are employed, the covered entity acting as the current employer shall:

  • Request the terminated contractor to give the successor employer a list containing the name, date of hire, and job classification of each service employee working on the service contract and name and contact information of the employees’ collective bargaining representative, if any;

  • Give the successor employer a list containing the name, date of hire, job classification of each service employee currently performing the work to be performed pursuant to the service contract and name and contact information of the employees’ collective bargaining representative, if any;

  • Provide written notice to any collective bargaining representative of the affected service employees regarding the decision to terminate the service contract, enter into a new service contract, or sell or transfer the property;

  • Ensure that a written notice to all affected service employees is conspicuously posted at any affected work site that describes the pending termination of the service contract, entrance into a service contract, or sale or transfer of the property, including the name and address of the awardee, purchaser, or transferee, and the employees’ rights under this law; and

  • Provide the affected service employees and their collective bargaining representative(s) with the name and address of any successor employer or the purchaser or transferee of the property.

A successor employer must take reasonable steps to ascertain the identity of the affected service employees.

Additionally, a successor employer must retain an affected service employee at a covered location for 60 days or until its service contract is terminated, whichever is earlier. A successor employer must not reduce any affected service employee’s work hours in order to circumvent the law’s protections, but is not required to retain any employee beyond 60 days.

When retaining the service employee (even for the 60-day period), the successor employer must also give the affected service employee a written offer of employment and send a copy to the employee’s collective bargaining representative, if any. The offer must state the date by which the service employee is required to accept the offer, and the date shall be at least 10 days after the notice is delivered. An offer shall state the name, address, and telephone number of the successor employer and the name of the individual who is authorized by the successor employer to make the employment offer. The written offer must be in a language in which at least 10 percent of the employees are fluent.

A successor employer is only permitted to retain less than all of the affected service employees during the 60-day transition period if the successor employer:

  • Finds that fewer service employees are required to perform the work than the predecessor employer had employed;

  • Retains service employees by seniority within each job classification;

  • Maintains a preferential hiring list of those employees not retained; and

  • Hires any additional service employees from the list, in order of seniority, until all affected service employees have been offered employment.

A successor employer must not discharge a service employee retained without just cause during the 60-day transition period.

A successor employer is exempt from these requirements if, on or before the termination of the service contract, the successor employer agrees to assume, and to be bound by, the collective bargaining agreement of the current employer or contractor, provided that the collective bargaining agreement provides terms and conditions for the discharge or laying off of employees.

The law will apply to contracts entered into or renewed after the effective date of October 22, 2023.


Employers who assume ownership of a service business should make sure they are aware of the obligations they may have to the current service employees of that business. They should also implement practice and procedure standards to ensure compliance with this law and properly train their personnel on compliance.

This summary is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. This information should not be reused without permission.