Satellite offices may not count for WARN layoff notice — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Satellite offices may not count for WARN layoff notice

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The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to provide 60 days’ notice before a plant closing or a mass layoff involving 50 or more employees at a “single site of employment.” Failing to comply may mean liability for back pay, attorneys’ fees and benefits. Employees have tried to argue that satellite offices should be included to determine if WARN notification was due.

Recent case: Sixty-four employees sued their former employer, Northern Line Layers, when they lost their jobs and didn’t receive 60 days’ notice. But the company argued that the employees didn’t work at one location, and that no location affected by the layoff had 50 or more employees.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the number of employees at the employer’s Billings, MT, office and maintenance shop was never more than 33. Moreover, none of the construction projects on which the employees worked was near Billings. Therefore, the layoff didn’t require WARN notification. (Bader v. Northern Line Layers, Inc., No. 05-36012, 9th Cir., 2007)

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