Plant Closings and Layoffs
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) protects workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers with 100 or more employees (generally not counting those who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months and those who work an average of less than 20 hours a week) to provide at least 60 calendar days advance written notice of a plant closing and mass layoff affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment. WARN makes certain exceptions to the requirements when layoffs occur due to unforeseeable business circumstances, faltering companies, and natural disasters. Advance notice gives workers and their families some transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other jobs, and if necessary, to enter skill training or retraining that will allow these workers to compete successfully in the job market. Regular federal, state, local, and federally-recognized Indian Tribal government entities that provide public services are not covered.
Employee entitled to notice under WARN include managers and supervisors, as well as hourly and salaried workers. WARN requires that notice also be given to employees' representatives, the local chief elected official, and the state dislocated worker unit.
The Department of Labor's (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) administers WARN but has no enforcement role in seeking damages for workers who did not receive adequate notice of a layoff or received no notice at all. Some States have plant closure laws of their own. Employers considering a layoff can contact the State Dislocated Worker Unit to find out more information on notice requirements in their state.
- Employment Law Guide: Plant Closings and Mass Layoffs - Provides an overview of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) Act.
- The WARN Guide to Advance Notice of Closings and Layoffs
- Filing a Claim under WARN - Explains the process for filing a compliant by workers who believe their rights under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) have been violated.
- Publication: A Guide to Advance Notice of Closings and Layoffs - Employers Guide Contains plant closing and layoff notice requirements under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) (29 USC 2100 et.seq.) - 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.
- 20 CFR Part 639 - The WARN regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA).
- Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Firms - Provides information on a federal program that provides financial assistance to manufacturers affected by import competition.
- Manufacturing Extension Partnerships - Provides small- and medium-sized manufacturers with expertise and services tailored to their most critical needs, which range from process improvements to worker training.
- America's Service Locator - Identifies locations of local offices providing services.
- Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) Programs - Describes these programs that help workers who have lost their jobs as a result of increased imports or shifts to production outside of the U.S. and includes links to the application process. The Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) provides information on income support to people who have exhausted their unemployment compensation and whose jobs were affected by foreign imports.
- Understanding Unemployment Insurance - Provides information on the Unemployment Insurance Program designed to reduce the impact of economic downturns by providing temporary support to laid off workers.
- Your Rights for Continuing Pension and Health Benefits, Including Health Care Continuation Coverage (COBRA) - Provides responses to questions regarding health care coverage for dislocated workers.
- Frequently Asked Questions for Laid Off Workers
- For information on the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
Office of National Response
Division of Worker Dislocation and Special Response
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210.
Tel: 1-877-US2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627), or 202-693-3500
- For information on rights to continuing pension and health benefits:
Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Tel: 1-866-444-EBSA (3272)
- For questions on other DOL laws,
please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.