Goldstein Law Group, S.C. is a law firm that specializes
in labor and employment law, business litigation
and legal, business and workplace solutions

 

WARN Act

FAQ 3-30-20

Q: How does the WARN Act apply to my business?

A: The WARN Act requires covered businesses to provide 60 days’ notice to employees in the event of a plant closing or mass layoff. A plant closing occurs when a site shutdown results in employment loss for 50 or more employees (excluding part-time employees) in a 30-day period. A mass layoff (not the result of a plant closing) is defined as, during any 30-day period: (1) an employment loss of 500 or more employees, or (2) an employment loss of 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33% of the employer's active workforce. This also excludes part-time employees.

The WARN Act applies to businesses with 100 or more employees, excluding part-time employees. Part-time employees are those individuals (1) employed for fewer than 20 hours per week, or (2) employed for fewer than 6 of the 12 months preceding the plant closing or mass layoff.

Questions?

Call 414-446-8800, or email us at adam@goldsteinsc.com for more information or to schedule a consultation.

A temporary shutdown triggers the notice requirement only if there are a sufficient number of terminations, layoffs exceeding six months, or reductions in hours of work of more than 50% in each month of any six-month period.

Exceptions to the 60-day notice requirement include business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time notice would have been required. That said, an employer must give as much notice as is practicable.

Q: What about the Wisconsin equivalent?

A: Wisconsin's Business Closing and Mass Layoff (WBCML) law differs from the federal WARN Act in a few significant respects. WBCML requires covered businesses to provide 60 days’ notice to employees in the event of a business closing or mass layoff. A business closing occurs when a site shutdown results in employment loss for 25 or more employees (excluding new and low-hour employees). A mass layoff (not the result of a business closing) is defined as (1) an employment loss of 500 or more employees, or (2) an employment loss of the greater of 25% of the employer’s workforce or 25 employees. This also excludes new and low-hour employees.

The WBCML applies to businesses with 50 or more employees, excluding new and low-hour employees. New and low-hour employees are those individuals (1) employed for fewer than 20 hours per week, or (2) employed for fewer than 6 of the 12 months preceding the plant closing or mass layoff.

An employer is not liable for giving less than 60 days' notice if: (1) the closing or layoff results from unforeseeable business circumstances, (2) employees lose work due to a temporary pause in business operations, but only if the employer recalls affected employees on or before the 60th day after the pause, or (3) the business was actively seeking capital or business which, if obtained, would have allowed it to avoid or postpone indefinitely the closing or layoff.

Note: There is a lot to each of these laws, the penalties for a violation are severe, and the present circumstances are, needless to say, unique. Call or email with any specific questions. Also click here for additional federal and state guidance.

Please note: This page contains general information and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek legal counsel for analysis and advice tailored to your particular circumstances.