THE LAW. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires certain employers to give employees 60 days notice before a plant closing or mass layoff. Some states also have plant-closure laws that add additional mandates.
Violating WARN carries some stiff penalties. You can be forced to pay up to 60 days of back pay and benefits to each affected employee, plus attorneys' fees and a $500 per-day civil penalty.
WHAT'S NEW? Lawsuits challenging WARN Act compliance have become more common in the wake of the recent layoff binge. Permanent layoffs surged nationwide from 1999 through 2001, according to the latest data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, the most recent tallies continue to climb. U.S. companies announced 118,067 layoffs in August, a 46 percent rise from July, according to outplacement consultant Chal-lenger, Gray & Christmas. If job cuts continue at the current rate...(register to read more)