The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act  requires employers with 100 or more employees (generally not counting those who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months and those who work an average of less than 20 hours a week) to provide at least 60 calendar days advance written notice of a plant closing and mass layoff affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment.

WARN makes certain exceptions to the requirements when layoffs occur due to unforeseeable business circumstances, faltering companies, and natural disasters.

Employees entitled to notice under WARN include managers and supervisors, as well as hourly and salaried workers. WARN requires that notice also be given to employees' representatives, the local chief elected official, and the state dislocated worker unit.

The following U.S. Department of Labor guide offers a brief overview of the principal provisions of WARN.

It also provides answers to frequently asked questions about employer requirements and employee rights under WARN, links to additional resources including employment law assistance for small businesses and Employee Retirement Income Security Act issues.