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Facilitating Fair Warning

January 26, 2009

By Stephen Harris and Ethan Lipsig

Reprinted and posted with the permission of Daily Journal Corp. (2008).

The Federal WARN Act generally requires that employers provide employees 60 days advance notice of employment losses (certain discharges, layoffs or hour reductions) if enough employment losses are occurring. Layoffs large enough to require WARN Act notice are exempt if they are not expected to last more than six months, but sometimes they last longer, causing WARN Act notice to be required. This can cause employers problems because the employment loss is considered to have occurred at the beginning of the layoff period (meaning that, if required, WARN Act notice was due 60 days before the layoff period commenced). Employers faced with this should consider alternatives for reducing WARN Act risk.