Layoffs and the 60 Day Notice Requirement under the WARN Act

There is a lot of talk in the news about a potential economic downturn and the impact this may have on the workforce in the United States. As companies adjust their workforce to changing economic conditions, this may result in employees being laid off.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the WARN Act) requires many employers to provide advance notice to employees before they are laid off or they may owe penalties to the employees who were laid off if they fail to provide the required notice.

The WARN Act requires covered employers to provide 60 calendar days advance notice of a plant closing or mass layoff to impacted employees. The WARN Act applies to employers with 100 or more employees, not including employees who have worked less than 6 of the last 12 months and employees who work an average of less than 20 hours per week. A covered employer must provide written notice to employees if an employment site or one or more facilities or operating units within an employment site will be shut down and the shutdown will result in an employment loss for 50 or more employees during a 30-day period. A covered employer must also give notice when a layoff results in an employment loss at the employment site of 500 or more employees in a 30 day period or 50 to 499 employees if they make up at least 33% of the employer’s workforce.

An employer who fails to give advance notice of the layoff as required by the WARN Act is liable to each employee for back pay and benefits for the period of the violation for up to 60 days.

If you have recently been laid off by your employer, please contact one of our wage and hour attorneys, Ty Frankel or Patti Syverson, to see if your layoff could qualify you for protections under the WARN Act.