WARN Act Company Compliance
The WARN Act is the Worker Adjustment and Restraining Notification Act. This law as enacted to prevent mass layoffs from occurring without prior notice. As an employer, you have to provide layoff notices 60-days prior to the actual layoff date. Advance notice under the WARN Act applies to companies when the following is the case:
- The company has 100 or more full-time employees; or
- The company employees a minimum of 100 employees working a total of 4,000 hours or more; and
- Are executing a layoff of a minimum of 50 staff or more at one business location
- They have more than 100 full-time employees; or
- Employ at least 100 workers that work a total of 4000 hours per week, and
- Are laying off at least 50 people at one work location.
Rules in the WARN Act have exceptions. When a business experiences a natural disaster or business situations it could not known about ahead of time, the business is not required by law to give its employees a notice of 60-days. If possible, it is wise to give notice regardless of the situation of disaster. Doing so provides your staff the opportunity to get ready for an unexpected job loss.
During Mass Layoffs Your Company May Need Additional Assistance
All layoffs are different. Many times, when a layoff is required, your company might be required to layoff key staff that have critical company knowledge. You do not want to have that critical knowledge vaporize. But, there may be nothing you can do to keep that person from being part of a mass company lay-off.
Give a hard look at what will occur to your business when veteran long-term key employee leaves with their critical company knowledge. The smart thing to do is to act on this problem and as part of your layoff strategic plan, ask the people being laid off to hand off their critical company knowledge to you or the staff members that are still going to be with the company.
To be sure, be ready to learn the staff members you are laying off are not going to be receptive to your request for them to train you or share critical company knowledge and operational facts. Your strategic layoff plan needs to include providing a financial reward to remain and train you or the employees that are staying off after the layoff. Using this strategy successfully could have a huge positive impact on the success of your company in future if you are able to keep the critical company knowledge the employee whom is being laid off knows.
Reflect What Effect the Layoff Will Have on the Staff that Stays
If your company layoffs practically everyone or just lays off 5 people, be sure to take the staff that is not being laid off into careful consideration. Chances are the remaining staff will be thankful they kept their job. They also may have worries and real issues that may have a direct negative effect on their actual work
The staff that is still with the company after the layoff logically will be concerned about the need to do the work they did before and the work of the staff members that are now gone. Additionally, they may be worried about more layoffs to come. Realistically they may be worried about being laid off in a second wave, giving them the motivation to start looking for a new job.
Remaining staff may be fine with taking up the workload of the laid off staff and are unconcerned about the company down the road after a big layoff. But, when more staff may quit their new expanded job due their concerns, the same staff that was okay about workload and the company’s future success, might become concerned and look for a new job, creating a ongoing treadmill of people quitting and a rehiring cycle.
Chances are your company will not have the operating capital to pay out ongoing bonuses to the staff member that did not get laid off, communicating directly and factually regarding the business’ chances down the road and how the reduction in staffing is a strategic component of the planned future of the company will provide the needed reassurances the existing team employees needs to stay committed and driven to do their best at their job.