What to know about WARN Act violations

For employees facing the daunting prospect of job loss due to their employer’s failure to adhere to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, understanding their rights and potential actions is important. The Mississippi Department of Employment Security reported from July to September 2023, it received four WARN notices.

The WARN Act serves to protect employees when large-scale layoffs or plant closures occur. When employers fail to comply with its provisions, employees may have a cause of action.

Notification requirements

The WARN Act mandates that employers provide at least 60 days’ advance notice of a plant closing or mass layoff affecting a significant number of employees. This notice period offers employees an opportunity to seek alternative employment and make necessary financial preparations.

Employer violations

In cases where employers violate the WARN Act, employees who may have lost their jobs without sufficient notice have legal recourse. These violations can occur when employers fail to provide the requisite advance notice, issue inadequate or misleading notices or omit necessary information in their notifications.

Potential actions for employees

When employers do not provide the mandatory 60-day notice, employees may get back pay for the period between the date of the violation and the intended notice date. Employees may choose to take collective legal action to enforce their rights under the WARN Act. By joining together, they can strengthen their position and work towards a resolution more effectively.

In cases of WARN Act violations, employees can report the violation to the State Workforce Agency. The agency can then investigate and take appropriate action against the employer for non-compliance.

When employers fail to comply with the WARN Act, employees may pursue a lawsuit against the employer to seek remedies, including back pay and other damages. This legal action is often a last resort after they have exhausted all other avenues.

The WARN Act remains an important safeguard for workers during times of substantial organizational change. Workers should protect their rights if their employer violates the act.