Business Closures and Workforce Reductions
This page provides information for employers experiencing or anticipating closures or workforce reductions about advance notice requirements under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and the services available to help impacted workers.
NOTE REGARDING REQUESTS FOR BUSINESS CLOSURE INFORMATION/WARN NOTICES:
The Arkansas Division of Workforce Services (ADWS) does not publish or disseminate specific company data, including WARN notices, due to confidentiality requirements. Pursuant to A.C.A. § 11-10-314, we are required to hold this information confidential and, therefore, are unable to disclose this information to the public.
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) protects workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers with 100 or more employees to provide notification sixty (60) calendar days before plant closures and mass workforce reductions. Advance notice gives workers and their families some transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other jobs, and, if necessary, to enter skill training or retraining that will allow these workers to compete successfully in the job market.
Employers required to provide WARN notices
A WARN notice is required when a business with 100 or more full-time workers (not counting workers who have less than 6 months on the job and workers who work fewer than 20 hours per week) is laying off at least 50 people at a single site of employment or employs 100 or more workers who work at least a combined 4,000 hours per week and is a private for-profit business, private non-profit organization, or quasi-public entity separately organized from regular government.
Employees protected by WARN
Affected employees are those who may be expected to experience an employment loss. They may be hourly and salaried workers, including managerial and supervisory employees and non-strikers. Affected employees include:
- Employees who are terminated or laid off for more than 6 months or who have their hours reduced 50% or more in any 6-month period as a result of the plant closing or mass layoff;
- Employees who may reasonably be expected to experience an employment loss as a result of a proposed plant closing or mass layoff. If the employer has a seniority system that involves bumping rights (see glossary and FAQs), the employer should use its best
efforts to give notice to the workers who will actually lose their jobs as a result of the system. If that is not possible, then an employer must give notice to the incumbent in the position being eliminated;
- Workers who are on temporary layoff but have a reasonable expectation
of recall; this includes workers on workers’ compensation, medical, maternity, or other leave; and
- Part-time workers (see glossary). (These workers do not count when determining whether there has been a plant closing or mass layoff, but they are entitled to receive WARN notice if there is one.)
Circumstances that trigger WARN
WARN is triggered when a covered employer:
- Closes a facility or discontinues an operating unit (see glossary) permanently or temporarily, affecting at least 50 employees, not counting part-time workers, at a single site of employment. A plant closing also occurs when an employer closes an operating unit that has fewer than 50 workers but that closing also involves the layoff of enough other workers to make the total number of layoffs 50 or more;
- Lays off 500 or more workers (not counting part-time workers) at a single site of employment during a 30-day period; or lays off 50-499 workers (not counting part-time workers), and these layoffs constitute 33% of the employer’s total active workforce (not counting part-time workers) at the single site of employment;
- Announces a temporary layoff of less than 6 months that meets either of the two criteria above and then decides to extend the layoff for more than 6 months. If the extension occurs for reasons that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time the layoff was originally announced, notice need only be given when the need for the extension becomes known. Any other case is treated as if notice was required for the original layoff; or
- Reduces the hours of work for 50 or more workers by 50% or more for each month in any 6-month period. Thus, a plant closing or mass layoff need not be permanent to trigger WARN.
How to file a WARN notice with ADWS
The Governor designated ADWS as the recipient of mandatory employer notices of plant closings and layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). Should you be required to provide notice of plant closings or mass layoffs as provided for in the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (WARN, Public Law 100-379), the notice should be mailed to:
Dr. Charisse Childers
Division of Workforce Services
P.O. Box 2981 Little Rock, AR 72203
The United States Department of Labor’s Interim Rule published in the Federal Register on Friday, December 2, 1988, (20 CFR Part 639) provides who shall give notice and that the following information be included in the notice:
- The name and address of the employment site where the plant closing or mass layoff will occur;
- The nature of the planned action, i.e., whether it is a plant closing or mass layoff;
- The expected date of the first separation and the anticipated schedule for making the separations;
- The job titles of positions to be affected and the number of affected employees in each job classification;
- A statement as to the existence of any applicable bumping rights;
- The name of each union and the name and address of the chief elected officer of each union; and
- The name, address, and telephone number of a company official to contact for further information. In addition, it is recommended that the notice include a statement of whether the planned action is expected to be permanent or temporary, and if temporary, its expected duration.
Dislocated Worker Services Unit
When businesses experience closings or workforce reductions caused by the economic climate or natural disasters, the ADWS Dislocated Worker Services unit works to mitigate the impact these events can have on communities by providing employment services and engaging the resources of local and state agencies to meet the needs of dislocated workers and employers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Immediately upon receiving notice of closure or workforce reduction, the ADWS Rapid Response team (part of the Dislocated Worker Services unit) contacts company officials to offer assistance. Whenever possible, a community meeting is scheduled with elected officials and business leaders to create an action plan for assisting the community and the impacted or “dislocated” workers.
Worker assistance workshops are held for impacted employees, during which local and state agencies can share information about available resources, retraining and educational opportunities, unemployment insurance, credit counseling, insurance options, and resources to find a new job.
If you have information about a company that needs assistance or that is contemplating business closure/ workforce reductions, please contact:
Program Operations Manager
Dislocated Worker Services Unit
Trade Adjustment Assistance
Rapid Response will provide information on Trade Adjustment Assistance and associated benefits if applicable. TAA is a benefit for those workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as a result of the impact of international trade. This program includes a variety of benefits and reemployment services to help unemployed workers prepare for and obtain suitable employment. Some services we provide to these workers include skills assessments, job search workshops, job referrals, and placement services. In addition, workers may be eligible for training, a job search allowance, a relocation allowance, and other reemployment services. For additional information, click here.
Mobile Workforce Centers
Rapid Response operates five Mobile Workforce Center RVs that can be transported to support businesses experiencing closures/workforce reductions or to supplement local resources as needed. ADWS offers services for workers and assists with drafting résumés and cover letters, interview skills, and productive job search techniques. The RVs are equipped with full internet connectivity, computers, and printers. The Mobile Workforce Centers are accessible for individuals with disabilities, and each has one computer with access to Jobs Application With Speech (JAWS) software.
If you prefer to print the request form, you can do so here: Mobile Workforce Center Paper Request Form