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The WARN Act

The WARN Act, or Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, was enacted by Congress in 1988, but it remains vitally important today. Its basic stipulations are that businesses must notify all full-time hourly and salaried workers, union or other representatives, and local government officials at least 60 days in advance of plant closings or mass layoffs.

Taking up a case backed by the WARN Act in a court of law is a rather involved legal procedure, and if you wish to defend against a plaintiff’s claim—or if you wish to make a claim yourself—you would benefit from the expert legal counsel of Tobin, O’Connor and Ewing. We can advocate for you and help you to make your case before a judge.

Damages in WARN Act Cases

If a business does not provide proper notification, it will be liable to employees for compensatory pay and benefits for the period of up to 60 days following notification. Furthermore, local governments may sue the business for up to $500 per day of violation.

Determining damages is not always a clear-cut process. If a company documents any sort of compensation to its employees outside of court, it may be able to avoid legal damages. In certain extenuating circumstances such as a natural disaster or other unforeseen situation, the 60-day rule may be waived. Finally, if the business was in the process of seeking capital, it may be able to avoid legal damages for failing to notify its employees.

The burden of proof generally lies with the employer. The employer must always prove that it gave as much notice as possible to employees, or it may be liable for damages even given extenuating circumstances. Good legal counsel is vital for both plaintiffs and defendants to ensure fair representation and results.

To discuss how we may help you achieve your legal objectives, contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing. We can be your best resource, and we look forward to serving you.

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