States Beginning to Issue Policy Statements Concerning Mini-WARN Act Enforcement

As of today, CWC is aware of three states that have published policy statements concerning the impact of COVID-19 on the enforcement of their “Mini” WARN statutes, which require employers to give prior notice of impending mass layoffs or plant closings under certain conditions.

  • As previously reported, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order suspending the 60-day notice requirement under certain conditions.

  • In New York, the state Department of Labor’s website  appears to imply that the state will consider the COVID-19 pandemic as an “unexpected circumstances beyond an employer’s control” that excuses strict compliance with the notification requirements.

  • Similarly, Vermont’s Department of Labor has announced that it does not intend to enforce its mini-WARN law “against businesses who are forced to lay off employees due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” but encouraged employers to still reach out to the department if they’re contemplating a layoff.

For more information on WARN Act requirements, see Memorandum 20-067 (April 3, 2020).

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