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Not Enough Warn In Potential Lay-Offs

There is a tide rolling in to expand the federal WARN Act. The Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act (WARN) requires 60 days notice by employers, with 50 or more employees, of mass lay off’s or plant closings if at least 500 employees or a third of a workforce greater than 49 employees at one site are impacted. Some feel WARN is not a “strong enough deterrent in protecting [employees] from employers who would abuse the system.” By this they refer to employers who are able to avoid WARN notifications by spreading lay offs amongst several facilities. 

Therefore, a bill was introduced entitled Alert Laid-off Employees in Reasonable Time Act (ALERT) which would amend WARN and require notifications under WARN to include mass layoffs that occur at more than one site of an employer. Additionally, penalties for violating WARN would be increased, doubling back pay for workers affected by a violation of the Act.

If this new Act will pass is still unknown but beware. If you are considering relocating or closing a plant or office consult your legal counsel to determine if this law has passed and if your company is affected. Brody and Associates regularly advises management on compliance with state and federal employment laws and is prepared to provide advice on compliance with WARN and any of its amendments. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or (203) 965-0560.