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What Are My Rights After Being Laid Off?

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Protect Your Rights

Understanding your rights is vital in the event of a sudden job loss. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, a U.S. federal law, offers significant protection. This legislation requires employers to provide a 60-day advance notice of plant closures and mass layoffs. The objective is to give workers and their families time to adjust, seek alternative jobs, or enter skill training programs.

The WARN Act applies to organizations with 100 or more full-time employees. It covers layoffs affecting 500 employees or at least 33 percent of the employer’s workforce (if less than 500). It also applies to plant shutdowns resulting in an employment loss for 50 or more employees during any 30 days.

Exceptions to WARN

While the WARN Act is designed to protect employees, certain exceptions exist. Employers may be exempt from providing the 60-day notice in cases of unforeseeable business circumstances, natural disasters, or if the company is faltering.

An unforeseeable business circumstance is a sudden, dramatic, unexpected action or condition outside the employer’s control. For instance, an abrupt and unexpected cancellation of a significant order might meet this exception.

A natural disaster includes floods, earthquakes, droughts, storms, tidal waves or tsunamis, and similar effects of nature. If a plant closure or mass layoff directly results from such a disaster, the employer is exempt from the notification rule.

The faltering company exception applies when a company has sought new capital or business and can show that issuing a notice would have precluded the employer from obtaining the needed capital or business.

Enforcing Your Rights

If you suspect your employer’s violation of the WARN Act, multiple steps are involved in enforcing your rights.

First, gather all relevant documentation, such as letters of termination, communication from your employer about the layoff or closure, and any relevant company-wide communications.

Second, consult with a lawyer or worker rights organization to understand the viability of your case. They can guide you through the complexities of the WARN Act and help determine if your employer violated the statute.

Third, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL will investigate your complaint and may take further action if they find a WARN Act violation.

Alternatively, you can file a private lawsuit in a U.S. district court against your employer. If the court rules in your favor, you might be entitled to back pay and benefits for each day of violation up to 60 days.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Help You Protect Your Rights

There is no getting around the fact that getting laid off causes lots of problems. However, it is essential that you know your rights and get the benefits you are entitled to after being laid off. To get legal support, speak with our Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. about your options. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.