Employers must give employees at least 60 days' notice before laying them off, according to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act or "WARN" Act. The falling oil prices have prompted oil and gas employers to start laying off employees, however, this does not excuse WARN Act violations. All employers that fall under these requirements, oil and gas employers included, must give their employees at least 60 days' warning before a layoff.
MAIN REQUIREMENTS & PROTECTIONS UNDER THE WARN ACT
According to the United States Department of Labor, while there are many facets to the WARN Act, the three major things you need to know are -
- What Employers WARN Covers
The WARN Act applies to employers with 100 or more employees. This does not include employees who work less than half time (fewer than 6 out of the last 12 months or average less than 20 hours per week).
- Who Is Entitled to Advance Notice
Employees who are entitled to advance notice (60 days, per the WARN Act) can include both managers and supervisors, salaried and hourly workers.
- Who Is Not Covered
The WARN Act does not apply to government entities, including federal, state, and local government employees/public servants.
WARN VIOLATIONS & PURSUING DAMAGES
Any employer that is bound by the WARN Act who violates the employee's right to at least 60 days' notice before a layoff or shutdown can be held liable for damages. The WARN Act is designed to protect not only workers, but also their families and the community at large. Without adequate notice, many workers have difficulty getting employed elsewhere, getting retrained /recertified, and providing for their families in the meantime.
Did your employer give you adequate notice before a layoff or closure?
If you have rights under the WARN Act and your employer did not give you at least 60 days' notice, you may be able to take legal action. Contact Wyatt Law Firm, Ltd. today to learn more.