The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification law

Abstract

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) is a federal legislation currently in effect that requires employers to notify, 60 days in advance, it's employees of plant closing or mass layoffs. This ensures that the employees and their families will have enough time to find or transfer to new jobs or fields. In New Jersey, there are other provisions on the WARN federal law which adds to employer's obligations.

The WARN Legislation in New Jersey

According to New Jersey's Employer Handbook, aside from the given requirement that employers must give a notice to it's employees 60 days prior in cases of mass layoffs or plant closings, as mandated by WARN law, employers must also give notice to state DWU (Dislocated Worker Units) so help and assistance to dislocated workers can be provided. New Jersey's Department of Labor and Workforce Development Response Team also provides help to both employers and workers during these mass lay-offs (“Layoffs & Closings”, para. 1).

There is a new state law modelled after the WARN Act, however, which provides additional penalties to the employers beyond those stated by the federal law and, at the same time, adding more benefits to the employees. Signed on December 20, 2007, the “Milville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job loss Notification Act” or “NJ WARN” generally follows the federal WARN, but with some provisions. Among these are: 1) greater penalties for employers on non-compliance which, essentially, mandates them to pay a severance penalty of one week's pay to each employee affected for each full year of service; 2) differing triggers of the law's activation for short-term lay-offs and transfer offers; and 3) a warn notice to more recipents, including any “collective bargaining units” (Hathaway, Thieme, & Custode, 2008).

These laws certainly do have a beneficial impact on the community, especially to those totally dependent on the plants for their income. For one, the 60-day notice will give the workers enough time to find an alternative job. Also, the law requires that a state response team must assist the workers being laid-off, a very large help to the personnel being laid off.

References

Hathaway, G. T., & Thieme, D. L., & Custode, F. A. (2008). Warning to New Jersey Employers: New WARN Notice Obligations In New Jersey And High Costs For Failure To Comply. Retrieved on January 10, 2008, from http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=55804

Layoffs & Closings. (2007). Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Retrieved on January 10, 2008, from http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/employer/layoffs/RapidResponseTeam.html