Plant closings and mass layoffs have become increasingly common in recent years. According to the federal government’s General Accounting Office, nearly 2 million employees lose their jobs every year to plant closings and mass layoffs.
The least an employer can do is tell employees that a plant closing or layoff is coming. Unfortunately, most employers don’t. The result is that people have no opportunity to look for another job while they are still employed. They suddenly find themselves with no income to support themselves and their families. In many cases, they lose their medical care as well. The financial harm and emotional distress this inflicts is both enormous and unjustifiable.
Congress responded in 1988 by passing the WARN Act, which requires employers to give employees and the community 60 days notice that a plant is going to be closed or a major layoff is scheduled.