What is WARN and who is covered?
What is WARN?
WARN stands for the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which protects workers, their families, and their communities by providing notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.
Why? By giving advanced notice, workers and their families have the chance to prepare for the future loss of employment. They can use this time to seek and apply for other employment. It also gives workers the chance to gain new skills that may make them more marketable.
Under the act, a plant closing is defined as a shutdown of an employment site, facility, or operating unit which will result in an employment loss for 50 or more employees during any 30-day period. A mass layoff is another major employment loss. A layoff is considered a mass layoff if it puts 500 or more employees out of work during any 30-day period. For smaller companies, a layoff that results in employment loss for 50–499 employees can be considered a mass layoff if the number of employees affected by the layoff makes up at least 33% of the employer’s active workforce.
This is an over-simplified explanation. There are other terms that must be met in order to warrant an employer’s advance notice. If you believe you have experienced a mass layoff or a plant closing that has or will put you out of a job, contact an employment law attorney to make sure your employer has not breached its obligations under the law. A job loss will affect you and your family tremendously. If your employer did not give you enough notice to start preparing for your next step, you may have a valid legal claim and you may be entitled to compensation for your inconveniences.
Who is covered?
Employers who have 100 employees or more are covered. This does not include employees who have worked less than six months in the past 12 months, nor does it count employees who work less than 20 hours per week. Managers and supervisors, as well as hourly and salaried workers, are all entitled to the advance notice required by WARN. Federal, state, and local government entities providing public services are not covered by the act.
Some employees mistakenly believe that WARN only applies to factories. This is a common misconception, as it applies to all employers who meet the above criteria.
We defend employees when their employer has wronged them in some way. We represent Ohio and Kentucky employees when they have been discriminated against in the workplace, sexually harassed, or wrongfully terminated. We also defend employees when their employers have breached contracts or other agreements, or have failed to comply with federal and/or state laws, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).