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Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN)


Shelly Thompson, Public Service Executive II

(785) 230-8158

[email protected]

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act is a federal law that requires employers to provide advanced notification to workers when faced with a plant closing or mass layoff. 

With this early notice, workers and their families are provided transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other employment and to enter skill training or retraining that will allow those workers to successfully compete in the job market through assistance provided by the Local Workforce Investment Boards.

A WARN guide for Employers can be found here. This guide provides specifics on requirements of WARN notices and other helpful resources.

WARN Requirements

WARN requires that employers with 100 or more full-time workers give employees 60-day notice in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs if they:

  • Close a facility of 50 or more workers; 
  • Discontinue an operating unit of 50 or more workers; 
  • Lay off 50 to 499 workers, and these layoffs constitute 33% of the total workforce at a single employment site; or
  • Lay off 500 or more workers at a single employment site.

Although some businesses are exempt from WARN, the law encourages all employers to give workers sufficient notice.

Learn more about WARN requirements here.

Who must receive notice?

  • Each employee to be laid off or the employee’s union representative, if represented by a union
  • Chief elected official (e.g., mayor) of the unit of local government where the closing will occur
  • The state of Kansas Dislocated Worker Unit

Additional information is available from the U.S. Department of Labor, including WARN handbooks for workers and employers in English and Spanish.

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