Employment Basics: The WARN Act

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act was enacted in 1988 and came into effect in early 1989. This law protects workers by requiring that employers who have 100 plus employees to give their employees at least 60-day notice if they are going to close a plant or lay off mass numbers of employees (defined as more than fifty or more than five hundred employees in any 30-day period, depending on the size of the company). Below we answer some of the most common questions about the WARN Act.

Why is the WARN Act necessary? 

When companies suddenly eliminate huge numbers of jobs, it can have a huge economic impact on both families and communities. While it’s never pleasant to be laid off, having advance notice that it may occur at least gives workers time to plan a bit in advance. They can set aside money to get by if they become unemployed, or even start looking for another job. 

What penalties will a company face if they do not comply with the WARN Act?

If a company does not give its employees notice of mass layoffs or plant closures. They can be held accountable for up to 60 days’ worth of back pay and benefits. They can also be charged fines by local governments. 

Does the company have to tell anyone other than the workers?

Yes. The company also needs to inform labor unions, as well as state and local governments. This ensures that the information is widely available and hopefully means that more resources will be available to those who may become unemployed.

Is there anyone who doesn’t get warned of layoffs and closures under the WARN Act?

Your employer does not have to give you notice of these things if you are part-time or if you have been employed by the company for less than six months. 

I think my employer may have violated the WARN Act. Who can help me seek justice and compensation?

Attorney Mike DeWitt is committed to helping employees protect their rights. The DeWitt Law team can provide knowledgeable representation for you if your employer failed to give you warning of plant closures or mass layoffs. We offer all new clients a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us. To schedule your consultation, give us a call at (614) 398-2886. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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DeWitt Law

Michael W. DeWitt is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who has litigated cases in most Ohio counties and in various federal courts across the country. He has argued appellate matters in Ohio appellate courts, and in the Fourth and Sixth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeal. After representing corporate clients in employment disputes for over 20 years, Mike now represents employees in harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and restrictive covenant cases and uses the knowledge gained from defending those cases to help clients evaluate and pursue their employment claims. He also represents business clients in breach of contract and other business disputes.
About DeWitt Law

Michael W. DeWitt is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who has litigated cases in most Ohio counties and in various federal courts across the country. He has argued appellate matters in Ohio appellate courts, and in the Fourth and Sixth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeal. After representing corporate clients in employment disputes for over 20 years, Mike now represents employees in harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and restrictive covenant cases and uses the knowledge gained from defending those cases to help clients evaluate and pursue their employment claims. He also represents business clients in breach of contract and other business disputes.

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