NEW YORK NURSE: January 2008
Q.: My employer has just informed us that because of financial problems they may be closing our facility. If they do go ahead and close, are we entitled to any advance notice? Do we have any rights if they fail to give us notice?
A.: Most employees are covered by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN), which provides employees with a legally enforceable right to notice of a closing or mass layoff.
You are covered by the WARN Act if there are 100 or more employees at your facility, not counting those who have worked less than six of the last 12 months and work less than 20 hours a week. With a few exceptions, an employer must give 60 days’ written notice if:
If the employer fails to give required notice, it is liable to pay every employee who did not receive the notice back pay and benefits for the amount of time notice was deficient. For example, if the employer gave 30 days’ notice, it would be liable to each employee for 30 days’ worth of pay and benefits. If the employer gave 10 days’ notice, it would be liable for 50 days’ worth of pay and benefits.
These are very general guidelines. For more information please visit: www.doleta.gov/programs/factsht/warn.htm
The NYSNA EGW Program receives many inquiries each month from members who have problems in their workplaces. If you have a question about labor relations at your facility, contact your NYSNA nursing representative. If you have a question you think should be featured in this column, send it to RNs at Work, NYSNA, 120 Wall Street, 23rd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005.