Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, also known as the WARN Act it’s a US labor law which was instituted in the year 1989 to protect the employees and their near and dear ones (be it family or community), in organizations with more than equal to 100 employees to provide a two month advance notification about any layoffs.
People who are covered under this act include: managers, supervisors and hourly as well as salaried workers. It also requires that in addition to the employees a notice should also be served to the Unions which are employee representatives as well as the dislocated unit’s chief officer. The sole aim of giving an advance notice is that the employees and their families get some buffer time to come to terms with the loss of employment. Any employer who violates the terms of this act is bound to pay the employee an amount which equals to the pay back and all the benefits pertaining to the 60 days period. Anyone out of the workers, employee representatives or local government can bring the action suits.
Exceptions to this act are as follows:
(a) When a temporary project is closed, wherein the employees who were hired for work had prior knowledge of the terms of employment i.e. their employment will be closed as soon as the facility closes.
(b) If the layoff is applicable only up to 50 workers at a single site of employment.
(c) The period of layoff is less than or equal to six months.
(d) If the percentage of layoffs is less than 33% of the total employment at a single worksite.
Whatever the case may be the prior notice should be served to the employees as soon as the managers or the firm knows about the layoffs, exceptions for shortening the layoff notice period are:
- When the layoff occurs as a result of some unforbidable business scenarios which are beyond the firm’s control.
- When the layoff is because of some natural disaster like earthquake, flood etc.