Temporary Layoffs and the WARN Act
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.