Closing and Layoffs

The Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act (WARN) is a federal law which requires employers to provide advanced notification to workers when faced with a plant closing or mass layoff. (With this early notice, workers and their families are provided transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other employment, and through assistance provided by the Local Workforce Investment Boards, to enter skill training or retraining that will allow those workers to successfully compete in the job market).

What does WARN require?

WARN requires that employers with 1OO or more full-time workers give employees 60 days notice in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs if they:

• Close a facility of 50 or more workers
• Discontinue an operating unit of 50 or more workers
• Lay off 50 to 499 workers, and these layoffs constitute 33% of the total work force at a single employment site
• Lay off 500 or more workers at a single employment site

(Although some businesses are exempt from WARN, the law encourages all employers to give workers sufficient notice, to the extent possible)

Who must receive notice?

Notice must be given to: Each employee to be laid off, or the employee's union representative, if represented by a union or unions; the chief elected official of the unit of local government where the closing is occurring; and the state's Dislocated Worker Unit.

Search our database of companies who have issued WARN notices.

Additional information is available from the US DOL at the Employment and Training Administration WARN Site, including WARN handbooks for workers and employers in English and Spanish.

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