March 27th, 2020

Important information regarding worker layoffs and unemployment

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act offers protection to workers and their families in advance of mass layoffs and business closings.

COVID-19

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act offers protection to workers and their families in advance of mass layoffs and business closings.

Federal law requires employers to provide at least 60 DAYS NOTICE to employees and certain government agencies and officials - but there are THREE EXCEPTIONS to that requirement:

  1. “faltering company” applies to plant closings, but not to mass layoffs and should be narrowly construed.
  2. “unforeseeable business circumstance” – Applicable for COVID-19 – applies to plant closings and mass layoffs caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time the 60-day notice would have been required.
  3. “natural disaster” applies to plant closings and mass layoffs due to any form of natural disaster.

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has provided two resources for easy reference: