Notification Letter to Employees of Impending Layoff Under the WARN Act
Author: Michael C. Jacobson, XpertHR Legal Editor
When to Use This Letter
Employers should use this letter to notify affected employees of an impending layoff or plant closing, particularly if the employer expects to discharge more than 50 employees from one of its facilities. Importantly, if the employer determines that it must comply with the WARN Act, it must ensure that the affected employees receive this letter at least 60 days prior to the expected beginning of the layoff.
Notification Letter to Employees of Impending Layoff Under WARN Act
Date: [Enter Date]
To: [Enter Recipient Name]; Job Title: [Enter Recipient Job Title]
Dear [Enter Recipient Name]:
As you may already know, [Enter Employer Name] will experience a reduction in its workforce and a number of [Enter Employer Name] employees are unfortunately subject to layoff. This reduction in force (RIF) is due to a significant downturn in the economy and the corresponding decline in demand for our products. [Enter Employer Name] attempted to avoid the RIF by reducing costs in several of its departments, eliminating unnecessary positions, freezing hiring and even freezing some benefits, but despite the best efforts of [Enter Employer Name], it must proceed with the upcoming RIF.
This notice is being issued to you in compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. You are being notified directly of the impending RIF because you are likely to be laid off as part of the RIF resulting from [Enter Employer Name]'s precarious economic situation. The purpose of this notice is to provide you with some important information and to address some of the questions that may arise during this difficult process. The information provided herein represents the most accurate information as of the writing of this notice, or [Enter Date].
At this time, you should consider this layoff to be permanent. Though [Enter Employer Name] will attempt to expand its business in the future, and in so doing, hire additional employees when and if economic conditions permit, [Enter Employer Name] does not have any current plans to re-hire the employees who are to be included in the RIF. If the situation changes substantially and [Enter Employer Name] regains the position to retain or re-hire the employees included in the RIF, it will contact you immediately.
[Enter Employer Name] anticipates that the layoffs will commence on or about [Enter Layoff Start Date]. The layoffs may come gradually so that [Enter Employer Name] can transition smoothly into the next phase of its business plan. Your employment is currently scheduled to end on [Enter Employee's Last Day of Employment]. Similarly, if the situation changes substantially and [Enter Employer Name] is able to retain you beyond this date, it will contact you immediately.
At this time, you do not have any "bumping rights," meaning that you are not eligible to retain your position at the expense of another employee with less experience at [Enter Employer Name]. [Enter Employer Name] has considered several objective, performance-related factors in identifying the employees to be included in the RIF, including seniority. Unfortunately, your seniority alone does not exclude you from the RIF.
[Enter Employer Name] is eager to ease your transition into the next phase of your life, be it employment with another company, in another field, or even retirement. To that end, [Enter Employer Name] has established a Reduction in Force Severance Pay Program to provide you with compensation and benefits to assist you and your family during this difficult time. A copy of the plan, including the full details of your severance package, will be provided to you under separate cover.
Finally, [Enter Employer Name] anticipates that many of the employees to be included in this RIF will have concerns or complaints regarding the loss of their employment. Given [Enter Employer Name]'s directive to assist its employees in their transition to the next phase, [Enter Employer Name] will be holding daily meetings at the [Enter Location] for affected employees. A representative from our Human Resources department will be present at each meeting. If you cannot be present for any of the meetings, and if you have questions or concerns about your inclusion in the RIF or your severance package, please call [Enter Phone Number] and ask to speak with [Enter Name of Appropriate Representative] He/she will return your call as soon as possible.
Very truly yours,
[Enter Sender Name]
[Enter Sender Title]
- Be sure to read through this letter carefully and to customize its provisions in accordance with your company's circumstances. There are many customizable aspects of the letter that are not bracketed, and employers should strive to ensure that a notification letter of this type is reflective of the company's situation.
- If you are unsure whether your company must comply with the WARN Act, best practice is to read through XpertHR's materials regarding the WARN Act, linked below.
- Always have legal counsel review written notifications to be sent to company employees.