The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) provides the basis for claims against an entity that closes a plant or business or lays off lots of workers. The WARN Act requires most employers with 100 or more employees to notify affected employees (and managers, salaried workers, plus certain state and union officials) 60 calendar days before plant closings and mass layoffs. Workers, their representatives, and units of local government may bring individual or class action suits against employers believed to be in violation of the WARN Act. An employer may be liable to each employee for an amount equal to back pay plus benefits for the period of the violation. Failure to provide required notice to local government could subject the employer to a civil penalty. The WARN Act has a number of exceptions to its requirements that debtor-employers seek to apply, and on which bankruptcy courts rule. Many states have state laws similar to the WARN Act. Kory Buzin contributed to this entry.
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