If you were recently laid off from your position in the oil and gas industry, your employer may have violated the terms of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. This Act was designed to protect workers from unexpected layoffs by requiring that they receive a certain amount of advance notice. Many employers, however, make mistakes even when they legitimately attempt to comply with the Act.
4 Common Mistakes of Employers Under the WARN Act
What are some of the common mistakes that employers make under the Act? The following is an overview:
- The employer misunderstands the meaning of the term “plant closing.” It is important to note that under the Act, plant closing does not necessary mean the entire facility must close.
- The employer improperly counts part-time and temporary employees for purposes of the WARN Act rules. Under the Act, part-time employees are not counted, whereas temporary employees are. A part-time employee is an employee who works on average fewer than 20 hours per week, or who has been employed for less than 6 of 12 months preceding the date on which notice is required. Further, while part-time employees are not counted for purposes of determining whether the WARN Act is triggered, if it is triggered, the part-time employees are entitled to receive notice if they are being laid off. Temporary workers, who are counted for purposes of determining whether the Act is triggered, are not entitled to such notice.
- The employer fails to consider layoffs that occur within 90 days of the proposed layoff or plant closing. While the initial test calls for an employer to review employment losses within a 30-day period of the proposed layoff, layoffs within the 90-day window can be added together to reach the threshold under the Act. It is important for employers to understand when this 90-day window is applicable.
- The employer fails to provide additional notice if changes to the layoff plan occur after the initial notice was provided.
If you determine that your employer violated the WARN Act requirements, liability may exist. We are here to help protect your legal rights. We encourage you to reach out today to learn more at (888) 449-2068.