WARN Act Mass Layoffs Attorneys
Our employment lawyers advocate for workers who were terminated as part of mass layoffs, reductions in force (RIFs), and company closures. We have recovered unpaid wages, vacation pay, severance pay, and Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act pay on behalf of employees who were terminated without sufficient notice.
What Is the WARN Act?
The WARN Act is a law that requires employers to provide advance notice and planning mechanisms to their workforce for a qualified plant closing or mass layoff. A WARN event is defined as a mass layoff at a facility in which 50 or more full-time, six-month tenured employees are laid off within 30 days of each other. Further, the 50 or more affected employees must comprise at least one-third of the total employees working at the affected facility before the WARN event took place. If 500 or more employees from one facility are laid off, the WARN Act also grants protection. The WARN Act generally requires 60-days advance layoff notice of future employment losses.
Are All Employees Covered by the WARN Act?
Not all employers are covered by the WARN Act. Employers must have at least 100 employees for the law to apply. If you were involved in a layoff or plant shutdown that did not comply with the WARN Act, then you might be eligible for one day of severance plus benefits for every day that passed in which you did not receive your entitled notice. In other words, if you were given zero notice, then you may be entitled to sixty days severance, plus benefits.
What Circumstances Trigger WARN Protections?
The following circumstances commonly trigger WARN notification requirements:
- Mass Layoffs: 500 or more workers, not counting part-time workers, at a single site of employment are laid-off during a 30-day period; or 50-499 workers, not counting part-time workers, are laid-off, constituting 33% of the employer’s total active workforce at a single site of employment.
- Plant Closing: A covered employer shuts down a facility or discontinues an operating unit (as defined under WARN), permanently or temporarily. The closure must affect at least 50 workers, not counting part-time workers, at a single site of employment.
- Temporary Layoff: A temporary layoff exceeds 6 months and meets the criteria of a plant closing or mass layoff. A temporary layoff was planned to last for less than 6 months but the employer decides to extend the layoff for more than 6 months.
- Reduction in Hours: 50 or more full-time workers have their hours reduced by 50% or more for each month in any 6-month period. The event doesn’t need to be permanent to trigger WARN.
What If My Employer Filed for Bankruptcy?
Due to the nature of mass layoffs, it is common for the company to file for bankruptcy protection. If this happens, you can still consult with an employment lawyer because a bankruptcy filing does not necessarily mean the company is immune from the WARN Act. Many WARN cases are brought in bankruptcy court.