The Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)
Finally, if the organization meets certain requirements, it must provide the affected worker’s notice of a potential layoff under the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN act. Under these guidelines, you must provide employees notice 60 days prior to the layoff. You must provide the WARN announcement to affected workers or their representatives, such as a labor union, regarding mass layoffs as well as plant closings. A notice must also be provided to the appropriate division of local government as well as the State’s dislocated worker unit.
For WARN to be in effect, the employer must have at least 100 employees who are employed at the location for less than six of the last 12 months or who work less than 20 hours per week. WARN requires employers to provide notice if a site will be shut down and that the shut down will result in an employment loss of 50 or more employees during a 30-day period. WARN considers a mass layoff to be an employment loss during any 30-day period of 500 or more covered employees.
The law requires that specific information is included in a WARN notice. So, it can be helpful to use a sample layoff letter specifically tailored for these circumstances. To meet WARN requirements, HR should include the following:
- Whether union bumping rights exist
- Name of unions representing affected employees
- Name and address of the chief elected officer for each union
To learn more information regarding the WARN act, please visit the United States Department of Labor's website.