Mass Layoffs, Reductions in Force and Plant Closings: Federal
- Certain large employers must provide 60 days advance notice of impending plant closings or mass layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act). See WARN Act.
- Failure to abide by the WARN Act, if an exception does not apply, exposes an employer to serious sanctions. See Penalties and Enforcement.
- Before instituting a mass layoff or RIF, consider whether other options are available such as hiring freezes, salary rollbacks, employee furloughs or voluntary attrition programs. Craft any such termination alternative carefully to avoid discriminating against protected classes of workers. See Alternatives to Layoffs.
- When economic downturns occur, employers must be careful in identifying and selecting employees for layoffs, given the myriad legal issues that may arise following a mass termination. See Identifying Job Related Criteria for Layoff Selection.
- A suggestion that terminated employees would be recalled or reinstated upon a change of economic circumstances should be considered in the rehiring process. See Rehiring Employees After a Reduction in Force.
The following states have additional requirements for this topic under applicable state law.