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
DOL Web Pages on This
Worker Adjustment and
Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Guide to Advance Notice of Closings and
Employment Law Guide:
Plant Closings and Mass Layoffs
Laws & Regulations on This
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) (29 USC 2100 et.
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
WARN regulations administered by DOL's Employment and Training