A wave of corporate mergers and downsizings in the ’80s led Congress to pass the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act of 1988. The act requires certain employers to give affected employees 60 days’ notice of an impending layoff or plant closing. You can be liable for back pay to employees for any portion of the 60-day notice period.
The term “layoff” or “reduction in force” is often used interchangeably with “firing” or “termination.” Yet there are important distinctions. A layoff occurs when workers are let go for reasons beyond their control—for example, the company has suffered an economic downturn or has been restructured, bought out or shut down.
Under the WARN Act, a “plant closing” is defined as a temporary or permanent shutdown that results in 50 or more full-time employees losing their jobs. A “mass layoff” is a work force reduction that’s not the result of a plant closing but causes employment ...(register to read more)