Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
Public Law 100-379 (29 U.S.C. §2101 et. seq.)
Who is affected by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act?
Employers with 100 or more full-time workers and the employer deems it necessary to do any of the following: Close a facility or discontinue an operating unit with 50 or more full-time workers; Lay off 50-499 full-time workers (and these workers comprise at least 33% of the total work force at a single site of employment) or, layoff 500 or more full-time workers at a single site of employment.
Employers must send notice, in writing, to the following three entities:
- Each employee to be laid off or, if represented by a union(s), to the employee’s union representative(s). Mailing of notice to employee’s last known address or inclusion of notice in the employee’s paycheck envelope is also an appropriate means of notice.
- The local government’s chief elected official. If in more than one jurisdiction, notice should be sent to the local elected official of the jurisdiction to which the most taxes are paid.
- The West Virginia State Dislocated Worker Unit at the following address:
West Virginia Dislocated Worker Unit
Attn: Bunny Harper
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Building 3, Suite 300
Charleston, WV 25305
What should be included in the notice?
The name and street address of the employment site where the plant closing or mass layoff will occur, a statement as to whether it is a plant closing or a mass layoff, the expected date of the first separation and the number of affected employees in each job classification, a statement as to the existence of any applicable bumping rights, the name of each union and the name and address of the chief elected officer of each union if applicable, and the name/address/telephone number of a company official to contact for further information. These are the major provisions of the WARN legislation. Employers are encouraged to consult an attorney if faced with the unpleasant prospect of a plant closing or mass layoff if they have questions regarding this legislation. Additional information on WARN is also available at the U.S. Department of Labor website by clicking on www.doleta.gov/layoff/warn.cfm.
A Rapid Response Team has been established to provide employment transition information to dislocated workers covered by WARN on resources and services available for career planning, classroom training opportunities, financial guidance, job placement assistance, unemployment benefits, stress counseling, and much more.