Conduct a Reduction in Force (RIF) Under the WARN Act

  • The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act or "WARN" Act is a federal law that requires most employers with more than one hundred (100) employees to provide sixty (60) days advance notice to employees of impending mass layoffs.
  • Employers should proceed with caution when identifying employees to be discharged as part of a RIF or a mass layoff. Factors used to identify employees for discharge should be grounded in performance, but the results of an initial evaluation should be reviewed.
  • Employers should cross-reference their results with additional factors such as equal employment considerations and impending vesting of benefits to ensure they are protected from disparate treatment or disparate impact claims.
  • There are several exceptions to the WARN Act, pertaining both to employees and employers.