Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) is a United States labor law which protects employees, their families, and communities by requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to provide sixty- (60) calendar-day advance notification of plant closings and mass layoffs of employees. It was enacted in 1989.

Employees entitled to notice under the WARN Act include managers and supervisors, hourly wage, and salaried workers. The WARN Act requires that notice also be given to employees' representatives (i.e. a labor union), the local chief elected official (i.e. the mayor), and the state dislocated worker unit [ List of State Dislocated Worker Units] .

The advance notice gives 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 that will allow these workers to successfully compete in the job market.

Who is Covered?

Often, WARN Act problems arise when employers are acquired by other companies. Generally, The WARN Act covers employers with 100 or more employees, not counting those who have worked fewer than six (6) months in the last twelve- (12) month work period, and those who work an average of less than twenty (20) hours a week. Employees entitled to advance notice under the WARN Act include managers, supervisors, hourly-wage, and salaried workers. Employees unprotected by the WARN Act include,

*Strikers, or workers who have been locked out in a labor dispute;

*Workers employed on temporary projects or the work facilities of the business who clearly understand the temporary nature of the work when hired;

*Business partners, consultants, and contract employees assigned to the closing business, but who have a separate employment relationship with another, second employer and who are paid by that other, second employer, and those business partners, consultants, and contract employees who are self-employed.

*Regular federal, state, and local government employees.

Exceptions to the WARN Act

The WARN Act is not activated when a covered employer:

*Closes a temporary facility or completes a temporary project, and the employees working in the facility or temporary project were hired with the clear understanding that their employment would end with the closing of the work facility or the completion of the project; or
*Closes a facility or operating unit because of a strike or a worker lock-out, and the closing is not intended to evade the purposes of the WARN Act.

The WARN Act also is not activated when the following coverage thresholds are unmet:

*If a plant closing or a mass layoff results in fewer than 50 workers losing their jobs at a single employment site;
*If 50-499 workers lose their jobs and that number is less than 33 per cent of the employer’s total, active workforce at a single employment site;
*If a layoff is for 6 months or less; or
*If work hours are not reduced 50 per cent in each month of any 6-month period.

There are three (3) exceptions to the full 60-day notice requirement, however, the notice must be provided as soon as practicable, even when these exceptions apply, and the employer must provide a statement of the reason for shortening the notice requirement in addition to fulfilling other notice information requirements. These three exceptions are:

*Faltering company: When, before a plant closing, a company is actively seeking capital or business and reasonably, in good faith, believes that advance notice would preclude its ability to obtain such capital or business, and this new capital or business would allow the employer to avoid or postpone the shutdown for a reasonable period;

*Unforeseeable business circumstances: When the closing or mass layoff is caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time that the 60-day notice would have been required (i.e. a business circumstance caused by some sudden, dramatic, and unexpected action(s) or condition(s) beyond the employer's control, such as a major order's unexpected cancellation); or

*Natural disaster: When a plant closing or mass layoff is the direct result of a natural disaster such as a flood, an earthquake, a drought, a storm, a tidal wave, or the similar effects of nature. In such cases, notice may be given after the event.

ee also

*US labor law
*Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, from UK labour law


External links

* [ WARN Act]
* [ Warn Act regulations]
* [ Guild Law Center for Economic and Social Justice (WARN Act experts)] Fairness
* [ State Dislocated Worker Unit Contacts]
* [ Office of National Response - USDOL/ETA]

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