New Hampshire Governor John Lynch on August 10 signed into law a bill (SB 40) that aims to better protect workers during sudden closures and mass layoffs.

 

“I have seen firsthand what a sudden closing of a business can do to the workers, their families and the entire community. The impact of a sudden closure is even more severe if a company fails to provide the proper warning or compensation,” Governor Lynch said. “This new law sends a strong message to New Hampshire workers that we care about their hard work, and we care about them and their families.”

 

SB 40 establishes the New Hampshire WARN Act, which strengthens existing federal law. Like the federal law, SB 40 requires businesses to give workers 60 days advance notice of a closing or mass layoff.

 

The New Hampshire WARN Act applies to businesses with 75 or more employees. Federal law requires a warning to be issued for businesses with 100 or more employees.

 

New Hampshire’s law also gives the state Department of Labor the ability to assert a lien on a company, which gives the state ability to better pursue compensation for the workers. In 2005, the state joined a lawsuit to get workers at Car Components Technology in Bedford the wages and benefits they were entitled to. Last year, Governor Lynch and the state pursued an investment firm to get compensation for workers of Customized Structures Inc. in Claremont.

 

SB 40 was sponsored by Betsi DeVries, Maggie Hassan, Jack Barnes, Jackie Cilley, Lou D'Allesandro, Martha Fuller Clark, John Gallus, Peggy Gilmour, Matthew Houde, Harold Janeway, Molly Kelly, Sylvia Larsen, Bette Lasky, Amanda Merrill, Bob Odell, Deb Reynolds, Sheila Roberge, Kathy Sgambati; and Reps. Randolph Holden, Jim Craig, David Nixon, Frank Bishop and Marjorie Smith.