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Are employers required to give advance notice of layoffs?

Wayne Faulkner

North Carolina does not regulate when an employer informs an employee of a layoff, says Charles Winkler, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Commerce.

Any regulation on notification of layoff falls under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification ACT.

The notice an employer must give under the WARN Act is based on the number of employees it has and also the percentage of the total workforce that is being laid off, Winkler said. But the rules are extremely complicated and an employer — even a large one — often may not have to file a WARN report,

Though the regulations are federal, the WARN notification from an employer is filed with the N.C. Commerce Department’s Workforce Development Division.

The best way to understand what an employer must do in a layoff is to read the “Employer’s Guide to Advance Notice of Closings and Layoffs,” Winkler said. That can be found at the department’s Web site at www.nccommerce.com. Type WARN in the search box, then scroll to the bottom of the page labeled “Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification.” Click on the PDF filed labeled “Employer’s Guide to Advance Notice of closings and Layoffs.”

Or, on www.nccommerce.com, pull down the menu under “Workforce Services” and click on “Find Information for Employers.” Then, when that page comes up, click on WARN Notice in the upper left portion of the page.

Then scroll to the bottom of the article called “Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification” and click on the PDF file called “Employer’s Guide to advance notice of closings and layoffs.

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