In 2001, 1.75 million workers lost jobs through extended mass layoffs. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires advance notice of plant closures and mass layoffs. The report discusses (1) the extent to which plant closures and mass layoffs were subject to WARN's requirements, (2) the extent to which employers with mass layoffs and plant closures provided notice, and (3) what issues employers and employees face when assessing the applicability of WARN to their circumstances.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
|To clarify employer responsibilities and employee rights under WARN and to address varying court decisions, the Congress may wish to consider amending WARN by simplifying the calculation of layoff thresholds, clarifying how damages are calculated, defining the term "employer" to address closely related corporations, and establishing a uniform statute of limitations.||In response to this recommendation, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce has considered amendments to WARN to clarify employer responsibilties and employee rights. They have drafted legislation amending WARN that incorporates these changes.|
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Labor||1. To educate and inform employers and employees about WARN, the Secretary of Labor should take immediate action to make revised educational materials widely available to employers and employees for assistance in understanding the regulations.|