What are our obligations for notifying workers and government officials about a big layoff? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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What are our obligations for notifying workers and government officials about a big layoff?

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Q. Due to the economy, we are considering shutting down our business. Are we required to give advanced notice to our employees?

A. The answer depends on how many employees you have. Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, employers with 100 or more full-time employees must provide written notice to their employees 60 days before a plant closing or mass layoff.

On the other hand, under the California WARN law, a “covered establishment” with 75 or more full- or part-time employees must give their employees notice 60 days before a plant closing, layoff or relocation.

Under both laws, employees must have been employed for at least six of the 12 months preceding the date of required notice in order to be counted.

Both laws also require employers to give notice to state or federal agencies. For example, under California’s law, employers must provide notice to the Local Workforce Investment Board and the chief elected official of each city and county government in the jurisdiction where the termination, relocation or mass layoff occurs.

Under federal law, employers must also give notice to the state dislocated worker unit (in California, the Employment Development Department, Workforce Services Division) and to the chief elected official of the local government entity where a closing or layoff will occur.

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