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What is the WARN Act and why does it help employees?

An important act that protects workers is the WARN Act. This act protects workers in the case of a sudden loss of employment by making it a requirement for employers to give their employees notice. This act defines a loss of employment as a layoff of six months or longer, a reduction of your working hours of 50% or more within six months or employment termination.

Through this act, employees should receive notice if their employer will be shutting its doors or laying off a large number of people. For example, the WARN Act requires that employers give 60-day notice if they will be closing a facility and will let go of at least 50 employees. The WARN Act does not cover employees who have worked at the company for less than six months or those who work part-time for 20 hours or fewer weekly.

The WARN Act also requires employers to give 60 days of notice if they’ll be laying off 500 or more employees who have been working on-site for at least 30 days.

The WARN Act is particularly helpful in making sure that employees know about a business shutting down. If the business is sold or one of its parts is transferred to another party, then the employer does need to let their employees know with 60 days’ notice.

What can employees do if they aren’t give 60 days of notice about a layoff or job loss?

If the employer violates the WARN Act, then it is possible to seek compensation from them. This compensation would include back pay and benefits that should have been earned during the violation period.

The WARN Act is there to help employees and their families prepare if they’ll be losing their job or seeing a major change in income. Failing to provide employees with notice is unacceptable in circumstances mentioned above. The act applies to all companies that have over 100 active full-time employees, whether they are for or not-for-profit, private or public.

If you lose your job unexpectedly in a situation where the WARN Act should have been implemented, it may be time to look into your legal options.