When should an employer assess whether the WARN Act applies to an upcoming layoff?

Author: Michael C. Jacobson, XpertHR Legal Editor

Best practice is to evaluate the layoff 90 days in advance. If the WARN Act does apply to the layoff, the company will be required to provide at least 60 days' notice to its employees, the local disaffected workers unit, the chief executive of the local government and union representatives, if applicable. Prior to these notifications, however, the company should perform an extensive analysis to ascertain whether the layoff or its resulting terminations can expose the company to future legal liability. This process, together with the preparation of notifications and severance packages can take time, so employers are best advised to start evaluations early.