When Is the WARN Act Triggered for Employers in Texas Employment Law: Department of Labor



WARN is triggered when a covered employer: • Closes a facility or discontinues an operating unit (see glossary) permanently or temporarily, affecting at least 50 employees, not counting part-time workers, at a single site of employment. A plant closing also occurs when an employer closes an operating unit that has fewer than 50 workers but that closing also involves the layoff of enough other workers to make the total number of layoffs 50 or more; • Lays off more than 500 workers (not counting parttime workers) at a single site of employment during a 30-day period; or lays off 50-499 workers (not counting part-time workers), and these layoffs constitute 33% of the employer’s total active workforce (not counting part -time workers) at the single site of employment; • Announces a temporary layoff of less than 6 months that meets either of the two criteria above and then decides to extend the layoff for more than 6 months. If the extension occurs for reasons that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time the layoff was originally announced, notice need only be given when the need for the extension becomes known. Any other case is treated as if notice was required for the original layoff; or • Reduces the hours of work for 50 or more workers by more than 50% for each month in any 6- month period. Thus, a plant closing or mass lay-off need not be permanent to trigger WARN.

CIRCUMSTANCES THAT DO NOT TRIGGER WARN WARN is not triggered when a covered employer: • Closes a temporary facility or completes a temporary project, and the employees were hired with the clear understanding that their employment would end with the closing of the facility or the completion of the project; or Closes a facility or operating unit due to a strike or lockout and the closing is not intended to evade the purposes of the WARN Act. WARN is also not triggered when the following various thresholds for coverage are not met: • If a plant closing or mass layoff results in fewer than 50 people losing their jobs at a single site of employment; • If 50-499 workers lose their jobs and that number is less than 33% of the employer’s total active workforce at a single site; • If a layoff is for 6 months or less; or • If work hours are not reduced more than 50% in each month of any 6-month period.

Williams, McClure & Parmelee is dedicated to high quality legal representation of businesses and insurance companies in a variety of matters. We are experienced Texas civil litigation attorneys based in Fort Worth who know Texas courts and Texas law. For more information, please contact the law firm at 817-335-8800. The firm’s new office location is 5601 Bridge Street, Suite 300, Fort Worth, Texas 76112.

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