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November 5, 2008    DOL Home > Compliance Assistance > By Law > WARN   

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)

 Frequently Asked Questions


The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) 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.

Employee 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.

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.

  • Generally, WARN covers employers with 100 or more employees, 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.
  • Employees entitled to advance notice under WARN include managers and supervisors as well as hourly and salaried workers.
  • Regular federal, state, and local government entities that provide public services are not covered by WARN.

The Department of Labor's (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) administers WARN at the federal level, and some states have plant closure laws of their own. A State Dislocated Worker Unit Coordinator can provide more information on notice requirements in a specific area.

DOL has no enforcement role in seeking damages for workers who did not receive adequate notice of a layoff or received no notice at all. However, they can assist workers in finding a new job or learning about training opportunities that are available.



  • Filing a Claim under WARN - Explains the process for filing a complaint by workers who believe their rights under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) have been violated.




For Employers

  • Understanding Unemployment Insurance - Provides information on the Unemployment Insurance Program designed to reduce the impact of economic downturns by providing temporary support to laid off workers.

  • Manufacturing Extension Partnerships - Provides small- and medium-sized manufacturers with expertise and services tailored to their most critical needs, ranging from process improvements to worker training.

For Employees and Dislocated Workers


  • Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
    Office of National Response

    Division of Worker Dislocation and Special Response
    200 Constitution Avenue, NW
    Room N-5422
    Washington, DC 20210.
    Tel: 1-877-US2-JOBS (1-877-872-5627), or 202-693-3500
    TTY: 1-877-889-5627

  • For questions on other DOL laws,
    please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL. Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
    Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL
    TTY: 1-877-889-5627

*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.

Phone Numbers