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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Do Employers Have to Give Advanced Notice Before a Layoff?

By Dan Atkerson on February 13, 2017

Earlier this month, the Dallas News reported that AT&T would layoff around 54 employees at a call center in Richardson, to be completed by the end of March. AT&T disclosed the layoff in a letter it sent to the Texas Workforce Commission. Depending on the size of the layoff, law requires companies to give advanced notice of layoffs.

What Happens If a Company Does Not Give Advanced Notice Before a Layoff?

Per the Winston-Salem Journal, in January, a settlement was reached in a class-action lawsuit involving employees who alleged their employer, Microfibres Inc., violated the Worker Adjustment and Restraining Notification Act (WARN Act) when laying them off. A judge sealed the details of the settlement. Reportedly, however, the plaintiffs requested approximately $1.5 million in damages, which would be about $12,745 per employee.

The suit stems from Microfibres filing bankruptcy in January 2016. On the same day that the company filed bankruptcy, it closed its doors. This left its employees out of work without notice, which is a violation of the WARN Act.

The WARN Act protects employees from their employer firing them without notice. It requires employers to notify their local and state governments, as well as any affected employees, 60 or more days in advance if they plan to cut more than 50 jobs.

Dan A. Atkerson is a Dallas employment lawyer who handles issues such as wage theft, discrimination and other forms of workplace injustice.

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