How to Identify Employees for a Reduction in Force Under the WARN Act
- Step 1: Review Company Policies and Procedures
- Step 2: Identify Vulnerable Business Units
- Step 3: Review Contracts and Collective Bargaining Agreements
- Step 4: Identify Selection Criteria for Reduction in Force (RIF)
- Step 5: Compile a Preliminary List of Employees
- Step 6: Examine Equal Employment Considerations
- Step 7: Consult With Legal Counsel
- Additional Resources
Author: Rebecca Sipowicz
Knowing when and how to begin preparing for a mass layoff or reduction in force (RIF) of employees is crucial to complying with various pieces of legislation that protect the rights of employees. Among them is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the WARN Act), which requires employers to provide advance notice of mass layoffs and plant closings to affected workers and their families in some situations. The employee identification process, however, is the employer's best tool to guard against future litigation from disgruntled employees.
Employers should use this document when considering and/or preparing for a mass layoff.