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Question:  When do I need to determine if WARN applies to my business?

Date Added:  3/1/2012 2:45:45 PM Hits:  560
Last Revised:  3/1/2012 2:45:45 PM Vote: 
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You need to decide whether WARN applies to a particular employment action about 65-70 days before that action is to occur. If WARN does apply, this gives you the lead time to do what is necessary to give timely notice. You also need to rely on the facts as you know them at the time you have to make your decision. Assuming too much can lead to a significant risk. An example of a question often asked is, "If I close a plant with 53 workers but offer five of them early retirement and they take it, am I liable under WARN?" The legal answer to that question is that there is no liability since only 48 workers will suffer an employment loss, but the practical answer about whether or not to give notice may depend on what you know 65-70 days in advance. If you are absolutely sure that five workers will take the early retirement offer, then there is no requirement that you give notice. If you are not sure that the five workers will take the offer, then you run the risk of liability. If you choose not to give notice and all five accept the offer, there is no requirement that you give notice. However, if two workers do not accept the offer and you have not given notice, you may be liable to 50 workers for pay and benefits. For that reason, it is recommended that employers err on the side of caution and give notice in situations that pose these kinds of risks.

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