What Information Must Be Included in a WARN Act Notice To Employees?

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires that covered employers generally must provide at least 60 days notice to affected employees or their representatives before ordering a “plant closing” or “mass layoff,” unless certain exceptions are applicable.  See 29 U.S.C. § 2102(a).  What information must be in the notice depends on whether the affected employees are represented by a union. 

If the affected employees are not represented by a union, the notice must be written in understandable language and must contain:

  1. A statement as to whether the planned action is expected to be permanent or temporary and, if the entire plant is to be closed, a statement to that effect;
  2. The expected date when the plant closing or mass layoff will commence and the expected date when the individual employee will be separated;
  3. An indication whether bumping rights exist; and
  4. The name and telephone number of a company official to contact for further information.

See 20 C.F.R. § 639.7(d).

If the affected employees are represented by a union, the notice to the union representative must contain:

  1. The name and address of the employment site where the plant closing or mass layoff will occur, and the name and telephone number of a company official to contact for further information;
  2. A statement as to whether the planned action is expected to be permanent or temporary and, if the entire plant is to be closed, a statement to that effect;
  3. The expected date of the first separation and the anticipated schedule for making separations;
  4. The job titles of positions to be affected and the names of the workers currently holding affected jobs.

See 20 C.F.R. § 639.7(c).

In either case, the notice may include additional information useful to the employees such as information on available dislocated worker assistance, or, if the layoff or closing is expected to be temporary, the estimated duration of the layoff or closing, if known.

About Michael Miller

Michael is a Chambers-rated attorney in Briggs and Morgan's Employment, Benefits, and Labor group and is head of the firm’s Employment Law Counseling and Compliance practice group. He has 25 years experience counseling employers to prevent unwanted litigation and advises companies of ongoing changes in federal, state and local employment law. Michael advises employers in all areas of employment law including discipline and discharge, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, affirmative action plans, background checking, and drug/alcohol testing. For Michael's full bio, click here.

Posted on February 24, 2012, in Mass Layoffs and Plant Closings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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