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What Is Advance Notice In Layoffs And Why Is It Important?


When you leave a job, you likely try to give your employer your two weeks’ notice to finish up your work and give them some time to find someone to replace you. This is a courtesy that’s often expected, but not required, of employees with at-will employment. However, some employees might wonder if there are ever occasions when employers may be required to give employees advance notice when they terminate their employment.

Which employees are entitled to receive advance notice during layoffs varies. If you’ve recently been laid off or are concerned about layoffs in your organization, you might be wondering if advance notice is required. Learn more about when employers need to give notice.

Who is Eligible to Receive Advance Notice?

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act is a federal law that requires employers across the country to give advance notice regarding layoffs in certain situations. While this law provides protections to workers across the country, New York State has enacted its own WARN Act that provides even more protections to NY employees.

Which Employers Must Give Notice?

In New York, private employers with more than 50 full-time employers must give advance notice of 90 days when:

  • Closing affects 25 or more employees.
  • Mass layoffs affect 25 or more full-time employees, if these employees make up at least 33% of all employees at that site.
  • Mass layoffs involve 250 or more full-time employees.

When Must Notice Be Given?

New York State’s WARN Act requires eligible employers to give advance notice in the event of:

  • Plant closing
  • Mass layoff
  • Relocation
  • Other covered reduction in work hours

Why is Advance Notice Important?

Most of us can’t afford to not work, and even a few weeks out of a job can cause serious financial difficulties that can be difficult to recover from. Advance notice gives employees the time to find other employment while they still have their current job. This allows some to have the opportunity to move right from one job to the next or reduces the amount of time they may be without a job for. In some cases, employees may also want to enter training to gain new skills that can help them find new employment down the line.

Employees deserve the chance to find a new job after mass layoffs and reduce the financial impact that this can have, and eligible employers are required to give this. New York State takes WARN Act violations seriously. If an employer violates this Act, they may be required to pay back pay and other benefits to employees, and a $500 civil penalty for every day of the violation.

Protect Your Employee Rights with Brown Kwon & Lam

Not every employer will respect your employee rights. If your employer tries to infringe upon your rights, you need Brown Kwon & Lam. Our New York City employee rights lawyers will defend your rights and help ensure that you get the treatment you deserve.

If you’ve experienced an employee rights violation in your workplace, contact us today.