Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Understanding the WARN Act

a concerned business owner sitting at a desk

The current economic climate due to the Covid-19 pandemic is resulting in mass closings. We want to help employers understand their responsibilities in regards to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

This act offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government.

A WARN notice is required when a business with 100 or more full-time workers (not counting workers who have less than 6 months on the job and workers who work fewer than 20 hours per week) is laying off at least 50 people at a single site of employment, or employs 100 or more workers who work at least a combined 4,000 hours per week, and is a private for-profit business, private non-profit organization, or quasi-public entity separately organized from regular government.

The U.S. Department of Labor has created a helpful guide to assist employers through this turbulent time. Our RapidResponse staff will then coordinate with the employer to provide on-site information to the workers and employers about employment and retraining services that are designed to help participants find new jobs.