How Does the WARN Act Affect Workers Near Tampa Bay?
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (WARN Act) is a federal law protecting workers from sudden plant closings and mass layoffs. It requires employers to give advance notice of a plant closing or mass layoff so that employees, their families, and the community can adequately prepare.
If an employer fails to give proper notice to their employees or violates any other part of the WARN Act, then the employer is liable to each terminated employee for back pay and benefits for each day of the notice period the employer failed to provide.
To schedule a meeting with a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification act attorney in Clearwater who may be able to help, reach out to Kwall Barack Nadeau PLLC online. You can also call us at (727) 202-5840.
- WARN Act Notification Requirements
- What is WARN Pay?
- Bumping Rights
- When Does the WARN Act Apply To A Business?
- When is Your Employer Required to Give Notice?
- Who is Liable Other Than Employer under WARN?
- Exemptions to the WARN Act
- Am I Covered By the WARN Act?
- WARN Act Severance Package
WARN Act Notification Requirements
A notice provided under the WARN Act should be specific and include:
- Statement regarding the temporary or permanent nature of the layoff
- Expected date of the mass layoff or plant closing
- Information on any bumping rights
- Name and phone number of a company official to contact for more information
The WARN notice must also be filed with the state.
What is WARN Pay?
WARN pay is money that is paid out by an employer after they have had a closure or a mass layoff. By law, they are required to provide a 60-day notice to employees before the layoff or closure. The WARN Act provides that certain large employers cannot order a plant closing or mass layoff until the end of the 60-day period after the employer serves the written notice.
What obligations does my employer have to give notice when there is an established bumping rights system? When there is no union contract – but your employer has an established system of bumping rights – your employer must attempt to identify the individuals who will ultimately lose their jobs as a result of the bumping system and provide the WARN notice to them.
If your employer cannot reasonably identify those workers, it must give notice to the incumbent workers in the jobs being eliminated.
When Does the WARN Act Apply To A Business?
Do you own a business that is not doing well in the current climate? Need to lay off some of your employees? You will need to make sure that you are complying with the WARN Act before progressing.
If you fall into these categories you must provide your employees with a WARN notice:
- If your organization has over 100 full-time employees, regardless if you are privately or publicly held
- All organizations that are for profit or not for profit
- If a plant is closing or there is to be a mass layoff
When is Your Employer Required to Give Notice?
Not all employers are required to give WARN notice. The size of the employer and the number of employees affected by the plant closing or mass layoff will determine if the WARN Act applies. Generally speaking, an employer with 100 or more full-time employees is subject to the WARN Act.
The WARN Act defines a plant closing as the following:
- Permanent or temporary shutdown
- Single site of employment or one or more facilities within a single site
- Shutdown results in loss of employment at the site for 50 or more full-time employees
- Loss of employment occurs during any 30-day period
Determining whether the WARN Act applies to any given situation is fact-specific and requires application of law by attorneys experienced in these types of cases. Our Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act attorneys in Clearwater are experienced at handling claims related to this act.
Is WARN Notice Required With Smaller Layoffs?
The timing of these layoffs are most important. Employment layoffs within 90 days will be combined and may trigger WARN unless the employer can prove that the layoffs were because of distinct reasons and were not related to evading the statue's requirements.
Who is Liable Other Than Employer under WARN?
Direct employers are liable under the WARN Act, but so are:
- Parent Companies
- Private Equity Investors
They are liable if they are the single employer with the company, The court will determine if the company is a single employer by applying a five-factor test.
Exemptions to the WARN Act
There are exemptions and defenses to WARN Act claims, such as when a company faces unforeseeable business circumstances or becomes a faltering company, but these defenses require certain steps be taken and many employers fail to meet the exemptions as a result. That means we can help you find a way to hold an employer accountable if you believe a violation of this law affected you.
Am I Covered By the WARN Act?
If you are an hourly, salaried, managerial, or supervisory employee you are covered by the WARN Act. Business partners are not, and are not required to be given notice when the plant closes.
If you have worked less than 6 months for your employer in the past year or have worked less than 20 hours a week, you are also entitled to receive notice.
If your employer fails to give you advanced notice of your plant closing or laying off the majority of the staff, they will have to pay their employees severance pay for 2 months. The employer is tying to pay the amount that is equal to what the employers would receive under the WARN Act. The Act not only covers 2 months’ pay but also additionally compensates for benefits such as health insurance.
If you were asked to sign anything for a severance package be careful because you may be giving up your right to sue your employer for any violations.
If you have been given a questionable severance package, do not hesitate to contact Kwall Barack Nadeau LLC. Our employment attorneys are here to guide you through the WARN Act and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Call today for a consultation!
Contact Kwall Barack Nadeau PLLC online if you were a factory or plant worker and think your rights under the WARN Act may have been violated!