and Retraining Notification Guide
An Online Guide to Services and Resources for Dislocated Workers
Table of Contents
A Guide to Advance Notice of Closings and Layoffs
Reemployment Services for Dislocated Workers
Trade Adjustment Assistance
A Guide to Advance Notice of Closings and Layoffs
There is no Georgia law requiring advance notice of layoffs. Employers are encouraged to contact the department to take advantage of assistance available to workers to be laid off.
However, the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) was
enacted by the United States Congress on August 4, 1988, and became effective on February
protection to workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers
to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass
layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives
(e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate
unit of local government.
In general, employers are covered by WARN if
they have 100 or more employees, not counting employees who have worked less
than six months in the last 12 months and not counting employees who work an
average of less than 20 hours a week. Private, for-profit employers and private,
nonprofit employers are covered, as are public and quasi-public entities which
operate in a commercial context and are separately organized from the regular
government. Regular federal, state, and local government entities that provide
public services are not covered.
Employees entitled to notice under WARN
include hourly and salaried workers, as well as managerial and supervisory employees. Business partners are not entitled to notice.
What Triggers Notice
Plant Closing: A covered employer must give notice if an employment site (or one or more facilities or operating units within an employment site) will be shut down, and the shutdown will result in an employment loss (defined later) for 50 or more employees during a 30-day period. This does not count employees who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week for that employer. These latter groups are entitled to notice (discussed later).
Mass Layoff: A covered employer must give notice if there is to be a mass layoff which does not result from a plant closing, but which will result in an employment loss at the employment site during any 30-day period for 500 or more employees, or for 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33% of the employer's active workforce. Again, this does not count employees who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week for that employer. These latter groups are entitled to notice (discussed later).
An employer also must give notice if the number of employment losses which occur
during a 30-day period fails to meet the threshold requirements of a plant closing
or mass layoff, but the number of employment losses for two or more groups of
workers, each of which is less than the minimum number needed to trigger notice,
reaches the threshold level, during a 90-day period, of either a plant closing
or mass layoff. Job losses within any 90-day period will count together toward
the WARN threshold
levels, unless the employer demonstrates that the employment losses during the
90-day period are the result of separate and distinct actions and causes.
In a situation involving the sale of part or all of a
business, the following requirements apply:
The term "employment loss" means:
- In each situation, there is always an employer responsible for giving notice.
- If the sale by a covered employer results in a covered plant closing or mass layoff, the required parties (discussed later) must receive at least 60 days notice.
- The seller is responsible for providing notice of any covered plant closing or mass layoff that occurs up to and including the date/time of the sale.
- The buyer is responsible for providing notice of any covered plant closing or mass layoff that occurs after the date/time of the sale.
- No notice is required if the sale does not result in a covered plant closing or mass layoff.
- Employees of the seller (other than employees who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week) on the date/time of the sale become, for purposes of WARN, employees of the buyer immediately following the sale. This provision preserves the notice rights of the employees of a business that has been sold.
An employee who refuses a transfer to a different employment site within a reasonable commuting distance
does not experience an employment loss. An employee who accepts a transfer outside this distance within
30 days after it is offered or within 30 days after the plant closing or mass layoff, whichever is later,
does not experience an employment loss. In both cases, the transfer offer must be made before the closing
or layoff, there must be no more than a six-month break in employment, and the new job must not be deemed
a constructive discharge. These transfer exceptions from the "employment loss" definition apply only
if the closing or layoff results from the relocation or consolidation of part or all of the employer's
- An employment termination, other than a discharge for cause, voluntary departure, or retirement;
- A layoff exceeding six months; or
- A reduction in an employee's hours of work of more than 50% in each month of any six-month period.
An employer does not need to give notice if a plant closing is the closing of a temporary facility, or if the closing or mass layoff is the result of the completion of a particular project or undertaking. This exemption applies only if the workers were hired with the understanding that their employment was limited to the duration of the facility, project or undertaking. An employer cannot label an ongoing project "temporary" in order to evade its obligations under WARN.
An employer does not need to provide notice to strikers or to workers who are part of the bargaining unit(s) which are involved in the labor negotiations that led to a lockout when the strike or lockout is equivalent to plant closing or mass layoff. Non striking employees who experience an employment loss as a direct or indirect result of a strike and workers who are not part of the bargaining unit(s) that are involved in the labor negotiations that led to a lockout are still entitled to notice.
An employer does not need to give notice when permanently replacing a person who is an "economic striker" as defined under the National Labor Relations Act.
Who Must Receive Notice
The employer must give written notice to the chief elected officer of the exclusive representative(s) or bargaining agency(ies) of affected employees and to unrepresented individual workers who may reasonably be expected to experience an employment loss. This includes employees who may lose their employment due to "bumping," or displacement by other workers, to the extent that the employer can identify those employees when notice is given. If an employer cannot identify employees who may lose their jobs through bumping procedures, the employer must provide notice to the incumbents in the jobs that are being eliminated. Employees who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months and employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week are due notice, even though they are not counted when determining the trigger levels.
The employer must also provide notice to the state dislocated worker unit and to the chief elected official of the unit of local government in which the employment site is located.
With three exceptions, notice must be timed to reach the required parties at least 60 days before a closing or layoff. When the individual employment separations for a closing or layoff occur on more than one day, the notices are due to the representative(s), state dislocated worker unit and local government at least 60 days before each separation. If the workers are not represented, each
worker's notice is due at least 60 days before that worker's separation.
The exceptions to 60-day notice are:
If an employer provided less than 60 days advance notice of a closing or layoff and relies on one of these three exceptions, the employer bears the burden of proof that the conditions for the exception have been met. The employer also must give as much notice as is practicable. When the notices are given, they
must include a brief statement of the reason for reducing the notice period in addition to the items required in notices.
- Faltering Company. This exception, to be narrowly construed, covers situations where a company has sought new capital or business in order to stay open and where giving notice would ruin the opportunity to get the new capital or business, and applies only to plant closings;
- Unforeseeable business circumstances. This exception applies to closings and layoffs that are caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time notice would otherwise have been required; and
- Natural Disaster. This applies where a closing or layoff is the direct result of a natural disaster, such as a flood, earthquake, drought or storm.
No particular form of notice is required. However, all notices must be in writing. Any reasonable method of delivery designed to ensure receipt 60 days before a closing or layoff is acceptable.
The content of the notices to the required parties is listed in section 639.7 of the WARN final
regulations. Additional notice is required when the date(s) or 14-day period(s) for a planned plant
closing or mass layoff are extended beyond the date(s) or 14-day period(s) announced in
the original notice.
No particular form of record is required. The information the employers will use to determine whether, to whom, and when they must give notice is information that employers usually keep in ordinary business practices and in complying with other laws and regulations.
An employer who violates the WARN provisions by ordering a plant closing or mass layoff without providing appropriate notice is liable to each aggrieved employee for an amount including back pay and benefits for the period of violation, up to 60 days. The employer's liability may be reduced by such items as wages paid by the employer to the employee during the period of violation and voluntary and unconditional payments made by the employer to the employee.
An employer who fails to provide notice as required to a unit of local government is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for each day of violation. This penalty may be avoided if the employer satisfies the liability to each aggrieved employee within three weeks after the closing or layoff is ordered by the employer.
Enforcement of WARN requirements is through the United States district courts. Workers, representatives of employees, and units of local government may bring individual or class action suits. In any suit, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs.
Specific requirements of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
may be found in the Act itself, Public Law 100-379 (29 U.S.C. 2101, et seq.).
The Department of Labor published final regulations in the
Federal Register (Vol. 54, No. 75). The regulations appear at 20 CF Part 639.
General questions on the Act or regulations may be addressed to:
United States Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Division of Adult and Dislocated Worker
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20210
Georgia Department of Labor
Employment Services Division
148 Andrew Young International Boulevard, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-1751
Neither the United States Department of Labor nor the Georgia Department of Labor has administrative nor enforcement responsibilities under WARN, and as a result
cannot provide specific advice or guidance with respect to individual situations.
The Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice (SLC) is a national non-profit, public-interest law center located in Detroit, Michigan, and is the nationally
recognized expert on WARN prosecution and education. The Center provides legal
advice and assistance regarding WARN to employees, dislocated worker units, and
lawyers throughout the country. The Center can be reach by telephone at (313)
This fact sheet is furnished by the Georgia Department of Labor and is a based on an original publication made by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. It is intended as a general description only and does not carry the force of legal opinion.
If a worker has lost a job because of a layoff, or business
closure, or if a worker is facing a layoff, the GDOL can help return that worker
to work as quickly as possible.
Through a partnership
between the Georgia Department of Labor, local Workforce Investment Boards, and
other partners in the community, reemployment services and assistance are
available to shorten the length of time of unemployment. We offer an assortment
of job search aids and training and education assistance to help job seekers
start a new job or career.
The Georgia Department of Labor operates a statewide network of electronically connected local Career Centers offering a wide range of reemployment services and assistance. Information is available on job openings in
Georgia and other states throughout the country. Each career center has a resource area with personal computers, Internet access, books, videos, fax and copy machines, telephones, and other items to help make your job search easier and successful.
Job Search workshops
help to prepare job seekers to find jobs more quickly in today’s rapidly
changing job market. Workshops topics include skills identification, interviewing
skills, employer expectations, résumé assistance and preparation, salary negotiation,
Resource Guide for Job Seekers
Placement Assistance helps job seekers find new
jobs through referral to them by matching skills, experience, education, interests and other qualifications
with requirements of businesses. When suitable jobs are not
listed with the department, staff can develop a job with businesses that may
need the skills and abilities that a job seeker has.
The Creative Job Search Online Guide is also available and includes
topics on organizing job search, skills identification, applications, résumés,
cover letters, interviews, and follow-up.
Career Information System (GCIS) is
a computer-based program that contains information about job duties, aptitudes,
work settings, qualifications, educational institutions, training programs, and
scholarships and other financial aid.
Also included is a self-assessment tool that can help job seekers recognize
occupations that use skills they currently have.
Management workshops are
conducted by CredAbility staff and
provide helpful information on how to more effectively manage finances while
searching for a new job.
Stress Management workshops provide practical
information and tips about remaining focused on a job search.
The Age Is An Asset workshop emphasizes how
to present those years of experience in a positive light.
Making is an interactive workshop that
uses problem solving, labor market information, existing skills, and interests
to help choose a new career.
If you are interested in Starting Your Own Business,
Centers located throughout the state offer assistance, as does
the U.S. Small
Business Administration (SBA).
Information is an important part of
any job search. Career centers have a
great deal of information about demand occupations, job trends, average wages,
and other information about current and future jobs.
Get Labor Market Information
Insurance may be available to laid-off job seekers, who may apply
for unemployment insurance in person at any career center by talking with Georgia
Department of Labor staff or by using the Internet. For more information contact
any career center.
Investment Boards across the state identify the workforce needs of local businesses and job seekers and find existing and new economic development and educational resources to meet those workforce needs. Workforce Investment Boards also establish comprehensive One-Stop Centers in each Workforce Investment Area where customers may access a wide variety of reemployment services, support, and assistance. Reemployment services and assistance available through local Workforce Investment Boards include the following:
Skills Assessment that may include reading, math, and aptitude tests, interest inventories, and other evaluations to determine which jobs or careers may be a good match. Career advisors provide guidance through the assessment,
and help make decisions about education
and training and a new career.
Resource Labs are available in One-Stop Centers to help individual improve current skills and make decisions about the future. There is access to personal computers, the Internet, labor market information, and various
software programs to learn or improve keyboarding skills (typing), interviewing skills, résumé assistance, and much more.
and Training are necessary to find
and keep a new job in today’s rapidly changing workforce. If an individual wants to learn new skills or improve existing skills in order to return to work, financial assistance, is available
through a variety of sources to help pay for the cost of attending training.
Training is available through public
and private educational and training providers, including state technical
colleges and universities and private-for-profit providers. Courses may be short-
and long-term and are generally conducted in a classroom setting. An approved list of training providers and courses is available at local One-Stop Centers, Georgia Department of Labor career centers, or through Georgia’s WIA ITA Eligible Provider / Program List.
Education/GED Preparation and Testing may
be available through a local One-Stop
Center and may be all that is needed to find another job. Brushing up on
basic skills (such as math and reading) that have not been used in a long time
may be necessary for that new job. Preparing for and taking the GED test (high
school equivalency) will also improve the chances of getting a new job.
Training is used while an individual is
actually working and earning a wage, and focuses on specific skills
needed for that particular occupation.
Services such as transportation,
meals, and childcare may be available while an individual is attending training
on a full-time basis. Additional information
on these services is available at a local One-Stop
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is available to workers who lost their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports or because their manufacturing jobs moved overseas. The TAA program offers a variety of
reemployment services and benefits to help qualified workers prepare for and
return to work quickly.
In order to be eligible for TAA reemployment services and benefits, a petition must be certified by the United States Department of Labor. The United States Department of Labor will determine whether the workers should be certified under the Trade Act. If so, the certification will contain an "impact date" up to one year before the date of the petition. The certification expires two years from the date of issuance unless another date is noted. Workers who are laid off from the certified employer on or after the "impact date" and on or before the expiration date of the certification are eligible to apply for TAA.
To view specific information on TAA Petitions access the Business Layoffs and Closures.
APPLYING FOR TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE
To qualify for TAA reemployment services and benefits, job seekers must have been laid off on or after the "impact date" and before the expiration date of the certification. Workers may file an application for reemployment services and benefits at any career center of the Georgia Department of Labor. Staff will determine what benefits and services are available to the worker.
Reemployment Services are available to help workers
return to work. Reemployment
services include employment counseling, vocational testing, job search assistance,
relocation assistance, job development, and referral to jobs.
Georgia Department of Labor staff can provide labor market information that will
help job seekers understand what jobs are in demand both in and outside the area,
wages and benefits generally available for those jobs, entry-level skill requirements,
advancement opportunities, and short and long-term growth potential for those jobs.
help customers develop the skills and techniques to find a
job in today's rapidly changing labor market. Workshops can help
a job seeker identify skills, polish a résumé, locate job openings and prepare
An individual may qualify for a job search allowance up to $1,250 if there is a need to look for work outside the normal commuting area. To qualify for a job search allowance, the job seeker must apply in person at a local Georgia Department of Labor Career Center before going on the interview.
There are time limits for filing applications for job search allowances. Individuals must file for job search allowances within 365 days after the date of the certification or 365 days after the date of their last total separation from work, whichever is later, or within 182 days after training has been completed. Only travel in the United States is covered.
Workers may qualify for a relocation allowance (90% of reasonable and necessary expenses) if they get a job outside their normal commuting area. The relocation allowance will partially reimburse a worker for expenses incurred in moving the worker and his/her family to a new location. The worker must complete an application and be approved by the Georgia Department of Labor before moving.
There are time limits for filing an application for a relocation allowance. A worker must file an application within 425 days after the date of the certification or 425 days after his/her last total separation from work, whichever is later, or within 182 days after completion of approved training. The relocation must begin within 182 days after application for relocation or 182 days after completion of approved training.
Training may be available if there are no suitable jobs in
the area. Retraining will enable reentrance into the labor market with
new and more marketable skills. Training must be approved before costs can be
paid based on these six criteria:
Georgia Department of Labor One-Stop and Career Center
staff can provide further details if training is needed to return to suitable
- There is no suitable employment available in the area;
- The training is appropriate;
- There is a reasonable expectation of employment following training;
- Training is reasonably available;
- The individual is qualified for the training; and
- The training is available at a reasonable cost.
Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) are
weekly payments to workers who are covered under a certified
Trade Act petition
and who are enrolled in approved training,
have completed approved training or have been waived from training.
To qualify for TRA, an individual must:
- Be covered by a certified petition;
- Be totally unemployed on or after the impact date and before the expiration date;
- Have worked with the adversely affected employer at least 26 weeks at wages of $30 or more per week during the 52-week period ending with the separation week; and
- Have been entitled to and exhausted all rights to unemployment insurance benefits.
The weekly amount of TRA will generally be the same as the weekly amount of the unemployment claim that was in effect at the time of or immediately following the first qualifying separation.
TRA consists of "basic" and "additional" payments. An individual must exhaust regular unemployment insurance prior to receiving basic TRA. When basic TRA is exhausted, additional TRA may be paid for up to 52 weeks if the individual is still in approved training. An additional 1 - 26 weeks may be available to individuals who were required to take remedial courses.
To qualify for basic TRA, one must be enrolled in an approved training program
by the later of:
- The last day of the 16th week after the most recent total separation from
- The last day of the 8th week after the week in which the petition was certified;
- 45 days after the later of the two bullets above if there are extenuating
circumstances that justify an extension in the enrollment period; or
- Monday after the end of a waiver.
To be qualified for additional TRA payments, an individual must apply (a signed
and dated request to the Georgia Department of Labor) for training within 210
days after the date of the certification of the petition, or within 210 days
of the most recent qualifying separation, whichever is later.
An approved training program may last up to 104 weeks. If remedial training is required, the training may be approved for additional weeks up to a maximum of 130 weeks. Before applying for long-term training, one should consider financial resources. During the time in training, money may be needed to pay for day-to-day living expenses. Unemployment insurance and TRA may help with these expenses, but not necessarily for the full time in training. If the training program lasts longer than the weekly UI and TRA payments, the individual may need to work while in school to earn money to pay for ongoing living expenses.
If the individual does not qualify for TRA weekly payments, s/he may still be eligible to apply for other TAA benefits such as training, out-of-area job search, or relocation or various reemployment services.