Corporate Outplacement and Career Transition Information

Friday, May 15, 2009

Is The WARN Act Changing?

Recently-introduced legislation would require employers to provide Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices to employees in the event of mass layoffs that occur at more than one worksite, and would double the penalties for violations.

The Alert Laid off Employees in Reasonable Time (ALERT) Act (H.R. 2077), introduced by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) and co-sponsored by four others, expands the current WARN requirement that employers provide 60 days’ notice of an impending mass layoff affecting either 500 employees or 33 percent of the workforce impacting at least 50 employees at one particular worksite.

The ALERT Act would amend the definition of “mass layoff” to cover an employment loss of this size not just at a single site, but for a single employer at more than one worksite. The bill also increases penalties for employers that order a plant closing or mass layoff in violation of the WARN Act by providing for double back pay for each day of violation.


Specifically, the ALERT Act would amend the WARN Act by including as a definition of “mass layoff” a reduction in force which:


(C) results in an employment loss for a single employer at more than 1 site of employment during any 30-day period for--

(i)(I) at least 33 percent of the employees of the employer (excluding any part-time employees); and
(II) at least 50 employees (excluding any part-time employees); or
(ii) at least 500 employees (excluding any part-time employees).
Additionally, the new bill would require employers to award employees double the amount of back pay as a penalty for violating the provisions of the WARN Act.


DETAIL:

2009-2010
Alert Laid off Employees in Reasonable Time Act 4/23/2009--Introduced.


To amend the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to require notifications under that Act for mass layoffs that occur at more than one site of an employer and to increase penalties for violation of the Act.

H.R. 2077: 111th Congress

This is a bill in the U.S. Congress originating in the House of Representatives ("H.R."). A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate and then be signed by the President before it becomes law.

Bill numbers restart from 1 every two years. Each two-year cycle is called a session of Congress. This bill was created in the 111th Congress, in 2009-2010.

The titles of bills are written by the bill's sponsor and are a part of the legislation itself.


Alert Laid Off Employees in Reasonable Time Act - Amends the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN ACT) to require an employer to give 60-day written notice to employees and to appropriate state and local government officials before ordering a mass layoff that results in an employment loss for a single employer at more than one site of employment during a 30-day period for: (1) at least 33% of the employees (excluding part-time employees); and (2) at least 50 or 500 employees (excluding part-time employees).

Makes an employer who violates such notice requirements liable to each aggrieved employee for double the back pay (under current law, only the back pay) for each day of the violation for up to 60 days.

The bill has been referred to the House Education and Labor Committee

Alert Laid off Employees in Reasonable Time Act (Introduced in House)

HR 2077 IH
111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2077


To amend the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to require notifications under that Act for mass layoffs that occur at more than one site of an employer and to increase penalties for violation of the Act.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 23, 2009


Mr. GUTIERREZ (for himself, Mrs. NAPOLITANO, Mr. LIPINSKI, Mr. GRIJALVA, and Mr. ROTHMAN of New Jersey) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor

A BILL
To amend the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to require notifications under that Act for mass layoffs that occur at more than one site of an employer and to increase penalties for violation of the Act.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1.
SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Alert Laid off Employees in Reasonable Time Act'.
SEC. 2. MASS LAYOFFS OF A SINGLE EMPLOYER AT MULTIPLE SITES.

  • (a) In General- Section 2(a)(3) of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (29 U.S.C. 2101(a)(3)) is amended--
    (1) in subparagraph (B)(ii) by inserting `or' after the semicolon; and
    (2) by adding at the end the following:
    `(C) results in an employment loss for a single employer at more than 1 site of employment during any 30-day period for--
    `(i)(I) at least 33 percent of the employees of the employer (excluding any part-time employees); and
    `(II) at least 50 employees (excluding any part-time employees); or
    `(ii) at least 500 employees (excluding any part-time employees);'.
    (b) Conforming Amendment- Section 3(a)(2) of such Act (29 U.S.C. 2102(a)(2)) is amended by striking `to the State' and inserting `in the case of a plant closing or mass layoff described in section 2(a)(3)(B), to the State'.


SEC. 3. INCREASED PENALTIES.

  • Section 5(a)(1)(A) of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (29 U.S.C. 2104(a)(1)(A)) is amended by striking `back pay' and inserting `two times the amount of back pay'.

Rep. Luis GutiƩrrez [D-IL]

Cosponsors [as of 2009-05-07]
Rep. Grace Napolitano [D-CA]
Rep. Jim Costa [D-CA]
Rep. Raul Grijalva [D-AZ]
Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D-IL]
Rep. Rosa DeLauro [D-CT]
Rep. Steven Rothman [D-NJ]
Rep. Janice Schakowsky [D-IL]
Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D-OH]
Rep. Betty Sutton [D-OH]


 
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