Plant Closings & 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.
Employees 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.
DOL's 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.
DOL Web Pages on This Topic
Laws & Regulations on This Topic
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 WARN regulations administered by DOL's Employment and Training Administration (ETA).