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GM, Amtrak Prepare for Closures and Layoffs Under WARN Act

General Motors announced in late November that it will be closing five North American plants and laying off 15% of its salaried employees. Amtrak also recently announced layoffs, saying that it would shut down its Riverside, California call center, displacing all 500 of the employees who work there. The planned layoffs trigger requirements under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and similar state laws.

Temporary Furloughs May Trigger California WARN Act Notice Obligations

A California Court of Appeals has held that temporary furloughs trigger notice obligations under the California Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (CA-WARN). Specifically, the appellate court in The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers v. NASSCO Holdings Inc., decided that employees were entitled to 60 days’ notice of termination under CA-WARN after the employer temporarily furloughed more than 50 employees within a 30-day period at a single worksite in California.1

Supreme Court Gives WARN-ing To Companies In Bankruptcy: Don’t Ignore Wage Claims

The U.S. Supreme Court held today in a 6 to 2 decision that “structured dismissals” resolving Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings cannot deviate from the Bankruptcy Code’s priority scheme without the consent of the affected parties – which means that businesses must ensure workers receive their unpaid wages as part of any such resolution. Specifically, the Court rejected a structured dismissal that left a group of WARN Act plaintiffs without any compensation, telling employers, essentially, that they must squeeze blood from a stone to compensate their workers.

WARN Act and Oil Field Rightsizing: Court Finds Layoff Does Not Require Notice

In a recent case involving the layoff of employees assigned to land drilling rigs, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas limited the ability of plaintiffs to claim that multiple rigs collectively form a “single site of employment” under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act).

Layoffs Without WARN-ing: How to Use the Unforeseeable Business Circumstance Exception

A recent federal trial court decision out of Delaware, In re AE Liquidation, Inc. v. Burtch, No. 14-1492-LPS (D. Del. Mar. 31, 2016), illustrates how, even in the context of a very troubled business, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act’s “unforeseeable business circumstance exception” (UBC) still may be used as a defense to WARN liability.

Layoffs Without WARN-ing: How to Use the Unforeseeable Business Circumstance Exception

A recent federal trial court decision out of Delaware, In re AE Liquidation, Inc. v. Burtch, No. 14-1492-LPS (D. Del. Mar. 31, 2016), illustrates how, even in the context of a very troubled business, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act’s “unforeseeable business circumstance exception” (UBC) still may be used as a defense to WARN liability.

Is an Offshore Rig a Single Site of Employment Under WARN?

A federal judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana recently issued an important ruling for oil field employers conducting layoffs. In Voisin v. Axxis Drilling, Inc. (October 21, 2015), the court held that for the purposes of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (WARN Act), each offshore rig is a single “site of employment.” Plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed multiple class actions alleging that a dispatch or administrative office from which work is assigned is a single site of employment for purposes of triggering the WARN Act. Judge Feldman’s ruling blocks that theory.

A WARN Act Roundup: Jury Trial Rights, the Unforeseen Business Circumstances Defense, and the Single Employer Rule

Towards the end of 2014, three federal courts explored developing issues under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (WARN Act), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2101-2109 et. seq. Below is a summary of three notable cases that employers may find helpful if contemplating a reduction in force.

A WARN Case Study: Are Workers on Layoff "Employees" and the Hidden Dangers of Exposing Controlled Groups to Liability

Last week the U.S. District Court in Cleveland issued a decision that, once again reminds us in two ways how devilishly tricky the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act can be when determining what is a covered employer and who is liable for a violation of the Act. Blough v. Voisard Manufacturing, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9267, 1:14 CV 263 (N.D. Ohio, Jan. 27, 2015).

Employment Law Made Unscary: WARN