With many companies going through layoffs, its more important than ever for managers and HR to keep up-to-date on federal and state notice requirements.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act applies to companies with 100 or more employees who work more than 20 hours a week and have worked at least six months in the past year.
It requires employers to give at least 60 days’ notice before:
- plant closings that result in a job loss for at least 50 employees who work 20 or more hours and have been employed for six months in the past year, and
- mass layoffs affecting at least 500 of those employees, or at least 50 if the number makes up 33% or more of the company’s workforce.
Exceptions apply in cases where notification isn’t possible.
One fact tripping up a lot of employers: Many states have similar laws that are more strict. For example:
- Under New York law, only 25 employees need to lose their jobs for notification to be required.
- Illinois law applies to companies with as few as 75 employees, and covers layoffs of as few as 25 employees.
- In New Jersey, the law applies to companies with 50 or more employees and mandates severance pay if proper notice isn’t given, and
- California’s law applies to companies that have employed at least 75 people in the past year.
All companies should be aware of the applicable laws in their areas so they have adequate time to comply in the event a reduction-in-force is planned.