Mini-WARN Laws by State and Municipality

Author: XpertHR Editorial Team

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires covered employers that are planning a plant closing or mass layoff to provide advance written notice to employees and other entities. The Act also imposes penalties on employers that fail to provide the required notice.

The following chart summarizes state and local mini-WARN Act requirements for mass layoffs, plant closings and relocations relating to employer coverage, triggering events, written notice and penalties. It also includes any exceptions to these requirements.

References on the chart to FTEs means "full-time employees" and to PTEs means "part-time employees." Cells marked with "N/A" signify either that there is no state or local law or that the particular issue in question does not apply under that state's or locality's law.

Information regarding COVID-19 related laws for layoffs and furloughs is available in the Editor's Choice article, Coronavirus (COVID-19): WARN Implications for Layoffs and Furloughs.


Jurisdiction Employer Coverage Triggering Event Notice Requirements Exceptions to Notice Requirements Penalties Notes
Federal 100 or more FTEs, or 100 or more employees (including PTEs) working a total of 4,000 hours per week excluding overtime

Plant closing resulting in permanent or temporary shutdown of:

  • A single employment site; or
  • One or more facilities or operating units within a single employment site, if the shutdown results in job loss for 50 or more FTEs during any 30-day period; or Mass layoff involving employment loss at a single employment site during any 30-day period for:
    • At least 33% of active FTEs (does not apply if 500 or more employees affected); and
    • At least 50 FTEs
60 days' written notice
  • Faltering company exception; 
  • Unforeseen business circumstances; and
  • Natural disaster
  • Back pay for each day of the violation at the average regular rate the employee received during the last three years of employment, or the final regular rate the employee received, whichever rate is higher; and
  • Benefits under an employee benefits plan, including the cost of medical expenses incurred during the employment loss which would have been covered by the plan if the loss had not occurred.
  • Failure to provide advance notice to the local or state government may subject employer to fines of up to $500 per day for up to 60 days.
  • Penalties may be reduced if employer made payments to employees for period of the violation, can prove it attempted to comply with WARN in good faith and reasonably believed there was no violation. 
N/A
Alabama N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Alaska N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Arizona N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Arkansas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
California 75 or more employees in the last 12 months
  • Mass layoff of 50 or more employees during any 30-day period at a covered employer; or
  • Relocation of all or substantially all operations in a covered establishment to a location 100 miles or more away
60 days' written notice
  • Physical calamity or act of war;  
  • Employer was actively seeking capital and believed in good faith that giving notice would have prevented it from obtaining the needed capital to save jobs; and
  • COVID-19 executive order (see Notes column)
Similar to federal WARN For the period beginning March 4, 2020, through end of the COVID-19 emergency, California's WARN Act is suspended for mass layoffs, relocations or terminations caused by COVID-19-related business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time notice would have been required.
Colorado N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Connecticut Industrial, commercial or business facility that employs, or has employed at any time in the last 12 months, at least 100 employees
  • Relocation of all, or substantially all, of an employer's industrial or commercial operations to a different state; or
  • Closing, i.e., the permanent shutting down of all operations by a covered employer
  • Employers with 25 or more employees must give at least 30 days' notice before the intended sale date of any business in the state; and
  • Employers that have 25 or more employees and retirees receiving health or life insurance benefits, or both, from their former employer must mail or deliver to each retiree written notice explaining what the status of their health and life insurance benefits will be after the sale and send a copy to the Labor Commissioner.
  • Reopening of a covered establishment within the state;
  • Covered employer that shut down under the provisions of the Federal Bankruptcy Act; or
  • Covered employer that shut down operations due to a natural disaster
N/A When a closing or relocation occurs, covered employers must pay each affected employee and their dependents (if covered under the group policy) in full for the continuation of existing group health insurance for at least 120 days from that date or until the employee becomes eligible for other group coverage, whichever is less.
Delaware 100 or more FTEs, or 100 or more employees (including PTEs) working a total of 2,000 hours per week
  • Plant closing or mass layoff mirrors the federal WARN Act requirements; or
  • Relocation of all or substantially all of the employer's operations to a location 50 or more miles away

60 days' written notice to:

  • Affected employees and their labor representatives if any; 
  • The Delaware Department of Labor; and
  • The Delaware Workforce Development Board for the locality where the mass layoff, plant closing or relocation will occur
Mirrors the federal WARN Act exceptions Mostly similar to the federal WARN Act, but employers may also be subject to fines of $1,000 per day of violation, or $100 per day of violation per dislocated worker, whichever is greater. Penalties may be reduced under certain conditions. Reemployment assistance is not required, but if reemployment assistance or severance is provided, information about it must be included in the required notice.
District of Columbia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Florida N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Georgia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Hawaii 50 or more employees Any facility closing, partial facility closing or relocation of all, or substantially all, of an employer's industrial, commercial or business operations to a location outside of Hawaii

60 days' written notice to:

  • Employees; and
  • The Hawaii Director of Labor and Industrial Relations
Similar to the federal WARN Act exceptions Mirrors the federal WARN Act Affected employees may be entitled to receive a dislocated workers' allowance.
Idaho N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Illinois 75 or more FTEs, or 75 or more employees working a total of 4,000 hours per week

Mass layoff of:

  • At least 33% of FT employees and at least 25 FT employees; or
  • At least 250 employees (excluding PTEs); and
  • Plant closing resulting in employment loss at single site during any 30-day period for 50 or more employees

60 days' written notice to:

  • Employees and their representatives;
  • The Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity;
  • The chief elected official of each municipal and county government where the triggering event occurs, and;
  • The Illinois Department of Labor at its Springfield office
  • Physical calamity, act of terrorism or war;
  • When notice was required the employer was actively seeking capital or business;
  • The capital or business sought, if obtained, would have enabled the employer to avoid or postpone the termination; and
  • The employer reasonably believed giving the required notice would have prevented its efforts to obtain the needed capital or business
A failure to give the required notice is subject to a civil penalty of up to $500 for each day of the violation. An employer may avoid the civil penalty, however, if it pays all affected employees the amounts for which it is liable within three weeks from the date it ordered the mass layoff, relocation or employment loss. The total amount of the penalties may not exceed the maximum amount for which the employer may be liable under federal law for the same violation.
Indiana N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Iowa 25 or more FTEs A business closing or mass layoff resulting in an employment loss at a single job site during any 30-day period of 25 or more FTEs. 30 days' written notice
  • Faltering company; 
  • Unforeseeable business circumstance; or
  • Natural disaster
Up to $100 per day for each day of the violation An employer may reduce the 30-day notice requirement by the number of days for which it makes severance payments or pays wages for work days occurring during the notice period. The severance payment or wages in lieu of notice must be at least equal to the employee's regular pay rate.
Kansas

Employers in:

  • Food and clothing manufacturing;
  • Food and clothing transportation Mining;
  • Public utilities; and
  • Common carrier operations
N/A N/A N/A Up to $1,000 fine, imprisonment of up to one year in county jail, or both An employer must not willfully limit or stop operations for the purpose of limiting production or transportation, or to affect prices to avoid state labor and employment laws, but may apply to the Kansas Secretary of Labor for permission to stop operations.
Kentucky N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Louisiana N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Maine 100 or more employees in the last 12 months
  • Closing; 
  • Mass layoff; or 
  • Relocation

At least 90 days' written notice to:

  • Each eligible employee to be laid off;
  • The employee's union representative, if represented by a union or unions;
  • The chief elected official of the unit of local government where the closing is occurring; and
  • The state's Dislocated Worker Unit.
  • Closing due to a physical calamity;
  • Closing due to the final order of a federal, state or local government agency; or
  • The employee has worked for the employer for fewer than three years;
  • Civil fine of up to $500 per day for failing to provide notice to the Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards, affected employees or municipal officers; and
  • Violating the severance pay requirements may lead to fine of up to $1,000 per violation and per employee.
N/A
Maryland 50 or more employees
  • Relocation of a part of an employer's operation to another existing or proposed site; or a
  • Shutdown of a workplace (or part of its operations) that reduces number of employees by at least 25%, or 15 employees over three-month period, whichever is greater
60 days' written notice

Reductions stemming from:

  • Labor disputes;
  • Closing of temporary workplaces or construction sites;
  • Closing from seasonal factors customary in the industry; or
  • Employer filing for bankruptcy under federal law
Civil penalty of up to $10,000 per day for each day that an employer A fails to provide notice, up to $600,000 N/A
Massachusetts 50 or more employees
  • Plant closings; 
  • Partial closings; and
  • Relocations
  • Promptly report information to labor commissioner that will determine employees' reemployment assistance benefits rights; and
  • Provide notice to labor commissioner upon relocation within Massachusetts if 12 or more employees
N/A

Failure to notify commissioner of a plant closing or partial closing is punishable by:

  • A fine of up to $100 for a first offense;
  • A a fine of $200 to $500 for any subsequent offense within two years after the first offense; and/or
  • Imprisonment for up to two years
Unlike other states with plant closing laws, advance notice that a plant closing will occur is a voluntary declaration that an employer must give in writing to an employee, or to the employee's authorized collective bargaining representative.
Michigan N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Minnesota Employers covered by the federal WARN Act
  • Plant closings; 
  • Substantial layoffs; and
  • Relocations of operations
Report the names, addresses and occcupations of terminated employees to the Minnesota Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development N/A N/A N/A
Mississippi N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Missouri N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Montana N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nebraska N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nevada Call centers with 50 or more employees Relocation of a call center (or certain operations of a call center) to a foreign country 90 days' notice N/A

If the employer receives state incentives and fails to provide notice:

  • A civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each day the employer fails to provide the notice; or
  • Requirement to conduct a study, at the employer's expense, to determine the financial impact of the failure to provide the required notice on the community surrounding the call center
If the employer does not receive state incentives, a failure to provide the federal WARN Act notice may result in a civil penalty of up to $5,000 and an additional penalty of $500 per day for a maximum of 30 days.
New Hampshire 100 or more employees who work a combined 3,000 hours per week excluding overtime
  • Mass layoff of at least 250 employees during a 30-day period; orat least 25 employees, if they constitute one-third of the employer's FTEs; and
  • Plant closing resulting in an employment loss of 50 or more employees during any 30-day period                                                     
60 days' notice
  • Faltering company;
  • Unforeseen business circumstances;
  • Closing of a temporary facility; 
  • Physical calamity, natural disaster or an act of terrorism or war; or
  • Strike or lockout not intended to evade compliance
  • Up to $2,500 in civil penalties;
  • Up to $100 per employee per day for noncompliance;
  • Back pay; and 
  • Cost of medical expenses incurred that would have been covered under an employee benefits plan
An employer may avoid a civil penalty by paying the amounts for which it is liable to all affected employees within three weeks from the date it orders the mass layoff or plant closing.
New Jersey 100 or more FTEs and in business for at least three years
  • A transfer of operations, or termination of operations, during any 30-day period resulting in the termination of employment of 50 or more FTEs; or
  • A mass layoff that results in an employment loss during any 30-day period for 500 or more FTEs, or for 50 or more FTEs representing at least one-third of the FTEs at the establishment
60 days' notice
  • Fire;
  • Flood;
  • Natural disaster;
  • National emergency or act of war; 
  • Civil disorder or industrial sabotage;
  • Decertification from participation in Medicare or Medicaid programs; or
  • License revocation.   
One week of severance pay for every year of service to the employer, if the employer fails to provide the proper notification Amendments to expand the NJ WARN Act are on hold until 90 days after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (i.e., extension of notice requirement to 90 days and requirement to provide an additional four weeks of pay for all affected employees for failure to provide full WARN notice).
New Mexico N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
New York 50 or more FTEs, or 50 or more employees who work a combined 2,000 hours per week
  • Mass layoff at a single employment site during any 30-day period of at least 33% of FTEs and at least 25 FTEs, or at least 250 FTEs;
  • Plant closing resulting in employment loss of at least 25 employees; and
  • Relocation to a different site at least 50 miles away from the original employment site where at least 25 or more FTEs suffered an employment loss
90 days' notice
  • Faltering company;
  • Unforeseeable business circumstance;
  • Closing of temporary facility;
  • Natural disaster; or
  • Strike or lockout
Largely mirrors penalties under the federal WARN Act Covered call center employers must comply with special advance-notice requirements in the event of a relocation out of New York State or the US.
North Carolina N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
North Dakota N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Ohio N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Oklahoma N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Oregon Employers covered by the federal WARN Act Same as the federal WARN Act If covered by the federal WARN Act, 60 days' written notice of a plant closing or mass layoff to the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development Same as the federal WARN Act Same as the federal WARN Act N/A
Pennsylvania N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A While Pennsylvania does not have a plant closing law, Philadelphia has a mini-WARN Act.
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) 50 or more employees at any time in the previous 12 months
  • Plant closings; and
  • Relocations

60 days' notice to:

  • The Director of Commerce of the City of Philadelphia; and
  • Affected employees and their representatives, if any
  • Involuntary closing of an establishment;
  • Employer has filed for bankruptcy in accordance with the federal bankruptcy laws; and
  • Termination of employees due to strikes and lockouts
If an employer intentionally failed to provide 60 days' notice of its intention to close or relocate its operations, a court may stop the employer from carrying out that action until proper notice is provided. An employer may also be liable for damages equal to an employee's daily pay for each day notice was not provided, but not for more than 60 days.

A business closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will qualify for an exception to the law's advance notice requirements provided the employer takes certain steps.
Rhode Island N/A N/A Notice to the Chief of the Labor and Training Operations Business Service Unit at the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training when notice is required under federal WARN N/A A failure to pay final wages within 24 hours of the time of separation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of at least $400 for each separate offense, and/or imprisonment for up to one year. N/A
South Carolina N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
South Dakota N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Tennessee 50-to-99 FTEs
  • Plant closing;
  • Modernizing of workplace where the number of employees is permanently or indefinitely reduced by 50 or more in any three-month period;,
  • Relocation beyond 50 miles; or any
  • Reduction in force affecting 50 or more employees during three-month period

Tennessee does not specify the timing, but employers must provide 60 days' notice in line with the federal WARN Act to the:

  • Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development; and
  • All affected employees

In addition to the federal WARN Act exceptions, Tennessee law provides the following exceptions:

  • Labor dispute;
  • Construction site or other temporary workplace; or
  • Seasonal factors, as determined to be customary within the business or industry
N/A N/A
Texas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Utah N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Vermont
  • 50 or more FTEs;
  • 50 or more PTEs who each work at least 1,040 hours per year; or
  • A combination of 50 or more FTEs and PTEs who each work at least 1,040 hours per year
Business closings and mass layoffs affecting 50 or more employees over a 90-day period
  • 45 days' notice to the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development and the Labor Commissioner; and
  • 30 days' notice to the local chief elected official or administrative officer of the municipality, affected employees, and their bargaining agent, if any
  • Strike or lockout;
  • Faltering business;
  • Unforeseeable business circumstance;
  • Disaster beyond the employer's control;
  • Completion of a particular project (or seasonal employment), and the employer hired the affected employees with the understanding that their employment was limited to the duration of the project or season
  • One day of severance pay for each day after first day in the 45-day notice period, up to a maximum of 10 days' severance pay; and
  • The continuation of existing medical or dental coverage under an employment benefit plan, for up to one month after an employment loss
The Vermont Department of Labor does not intend to enforce the mini-WARN Act against businesses forced to lay off employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virginia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Washington N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
West Virginia N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Wisconsin 50 or more employees
  • Business closings affecting 25 or more employees; and
  • Mass Layoffs affecting 25 or more employees or 25% of the employer's workforce, whichever is greater, or 500 employees

60 days' notice to:

  • Affected employees;
  • Collective bargaining representative of affected employees;
  • Department of Workforce Development; and the
  • Highest official of any municipality where the employment site is located
  • Strike or lockout;
  • Sale of part or all of the employer's business if the buyer agrees in writing to hire most of the affected employees with no more than a six-month break in employment;
  • Relocation of an employer's business within a reasonable commuting distance;
  • Completion of a particular project (including seasonal work), if the employer hired the affected employees with the understanding that their employment was limited to the length of the project;
  • Unforeseeable business circumstances;
  • Natural or man-made disaster beyond the employer's control;
  • Faltering company; or a
  • Temporary stop in business operations if the employer recalls the affected employees within 60 days
Affected employees may recover pay and the value of any benefits under an employee benefit plan for the days during the recovery period that they would have worked if the business closing or mass layoff had not occurred. A business closing surcharge of up to $500 per day may be assessed for failing to give timely notice to the highest official of a municipality.
Wyoming N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A