The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) is a federal act that requires certain employers to give advance notice of significant layoffs to their employees. Layoff notice requirements are intended to give workers and their families transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other employment, and, if necessary, to enter skill training or re-training programs to successfully compete in the job market.
The WARN Act protects workers, their families, and communities by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification 60 calendar days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs to affected employees, unions, and local and state governments. In order to determine how many employees an employer “has” under the WARN Act, it must count all employees at every location, not just the location where employees are being laid off. Employees entitled to notice under WARN Act include managers and supervisors, as well as hourly and salaried workers. The WARN Act requires that notice should be given to employees’ representatives, the local chief elected official, and the state dislocated worker unit. An employer who violates WARN provisions by ordering plant closings or mass lay offs without providing appropriate notice is liable to pay each aggrieved employee back pay and benefits for the period of violation, up to 60 days.