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Temporary Layoffs and the WARN Act

December 19, 2008

By Stephen Harris and Ethan Lipsig

The Federal WARN Act generally requires that employers provide employees who will suffer employment losses (discharge, a layoff of more than 6 months, or a 50% reduction in work hours in each of 6 months) with 60 days advance notice if the employer is large enough and will cause enough employment losses in a short enough period of time at a single site of employment. Employers often struggle with what to do when a layoff large enough to trigger the WARN Act is expected to be temporary in nature (i.e., 6 months or less), but for one reason or another turns into a longer-than-6-month layoff. Employers faced with this situation may wish to consider whether there are viable alternatives for reducing WARN Act risk. A few possibilities are discussed below.

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