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WARN Act (layoff notice) Checklist

April 1, 1999
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Related Topics: Staffing and the Law, Downsizing, Featured Article
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Counting Employees

  • Do you employ 100 or more employees who generally work 4,000 non-overtime hours per week?
  • Did you count employees who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months?
  • Did you count employees who work an average of less than 20 hours per week?
  • Did you count workers who are not entitled to WARN Act notice, such as business partners, to determine the number of employees?
  • Did you count workers who are on temporary layoff, vacation, sick leave, Family and Medical Leave Act leave, or are absent for any other reason?
  • Did you count U.S. workers at foreign sites?
  • Do you have any temporary employees?
  • Do you have any subsidiaries? Can they be treated as separate employers or must they be treated as part of the parent company?

WARN Act Exceptions

  • If you fit within an exception to the WARN Act, you may be allowed to give less than 60 days’ notice of an impending layoff or plant closing.
  • Is your company a "faltering company"? Have you been actively seeking realistic financing or business when the 60-day notice would have been required?
  • Do you reasonably believe that giving the required notice would prevent you from obtaining the financing or business?
  • Are there any unforeseen circumstances that would cause a plant closing or layoff? Has there been a "sudden, dramatic, and unexpected action or condition" outside your control?
  • Has there been a natural disaster, such as a flood, earthquake, or tsunami, that directly affects your business?
  • Has there been a natural disaster that indirectly affects your business—for example, a supplier has to shut down because of a flood?
  • Do you expect the layoff to be for less than six months?
  • Is the layoff or plant closing the result of a strike or lockout?
  • Are there other employees at the same site who are not involved in the strike or lockout?

SOURCE: The Reduction in Force Audit Guide is available by calling the Bureau of Business Practice at 800/243-0876, ext. 245.

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