What to Do If You Receive a WARN Notice
When a company goes through a significant change, it often involves the loss of jobs. If you find yourself in this situation and receive a WARN notice, it’s important to know what steps to take next. In this article, we’ll cover what a WARN notice is, what your rights are, and what your next steps should be.
What Is a WARN Notice?
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act is a federal law that requires certain employers to provide advance notice of mass layoffs and plant closings. The Act applies to employers with 100 or more employees, not counting part-time employees, who have worked for the employer for less than six months in the previous 12 months.
The purpose of a WARN notice is to give affected employees and their families time to prepare for the impact of a job loss. Employers are required to give at least 60 days’ notice before a mass layoff or plant closing. This notice must be in writing and include specific information, such as the date of the layoffs, the number of affected employees, and any benefits that will be provided.
What Are Your Rights?
Under the WARN Act, you have certain rights as an affected employee. You have the right to receive written notice of a mass layoff or plant closing at least 60 days in advance. You also have the right to receive severance pay if you are laid off or have your hours reduced as part of a mass layoff or plant closing.
In addition, the WARN Act requires employers to provide notice to the state’s dislocated worker unit and to the local government where the affected employees work. These agencies can provide assistance with job search and training programs for affected employees.
What Are Your Next Steps?
If you receive a WARN notice, there are a few steps you should take to protect your rights.
1. Review the Notice Carefully
Make sure you understand the details of the notice, including the date of the layoffs, the number of affected employees, and any benefits that will be provided. If you have questions about the notice, don’t hesitate to ask your employer.
2. Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
Start updating your resume and LinkedIn profile as soon as possible. This will help you get a head start on your job search.
Start reaching out to your network for job leads and contacts. Let them know that you’re looking for work and ask if they know of any opportunities.
4. Consider Training and Education
If you’ve been in your current job for a long time, you may need to update your skills to find a new job. Consider taking classes or attending workshops to improve your skills and make yourself more marketable.
5. File for Unemployment Benefits
File for unemployment benefits as soon as possible. This will help provide you with some income while you search for a new job.
6. Consult an Attorney
If you believe that your employer did not follow the WARN Act requirements, consult an attorney who specializes in employment law. They can help you understand your legal rights and options.
In conclusion, receiving a WARN notice can be a stressful experience. However, it’s important to understand your rights and take the necessary steps to protect yourself. By reviewing the notice carefully, updating your resume and network, considering training and education, filing for unemployment benefits, and consulting an attorney if necessary, you can navigate this difficult situation as smoothly as possible.