Dislocated Workers:

Implementation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)

T-HRD-93-6: Published: Feb 23, 1993. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 1993.

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GAO discussed the implementation and effects of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), focusing on: (1) the number of closures and layoffs covered by the act; (2) employers' notices of closures and layoffs; and (3) employers' view of the act's impact on their workers and businesses. GAO noted that: (1) in 1990, 64 percent of layoffs affecting 50 or more employees in firms employing at least 100 workers were exempt from the act's notice requirement; (2) of the 115 layoffs affecting 250 or more employees, about 25 percent were exempt from the requirement because the layoffs affected less than one-third of the workforce; (3) many employers did not file WARN notices of plant closures; (4) 29 percent of employers did not give workers 60 days' notice, or gave less than 60 days' notice; (5) 47 percent of employers reported that advance notice helped their laid-off workers, and 29 percent reported that productivity suffered after notification; and (6) few lawsuits have been filed due to costs, limited incentives, and uncertainty of outcome because of the lack of case law and information on closures.

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