Count on hearing more about the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act in the coming months. Reason: Employers comply with the law (which requires 60-days' notice of mass layoffs or plant closures) only one-third of the time, according to a new U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) study.
Of the nearly 2,000 layoffs and plant closures in 2001 that were subject to WARN notice rules, employers gave notice in only 717 of those cases. No surprise, WARN-related lawsuits have increased in recent years.
The law requires companies with 100 or more employees to provide WARN notice before certain layoffs and closings. For more details on how to comply, read the government's new employer guide to WARN at www.doleta.gov/layoff/pdf/EmployerWARN09_2003.pdf. Read the GAO report (GAO-03-1003) at www.gao.gov/new.items/ d031003.pdf.