(NEXSTAR) – Between tons of tech layoffs and major retailers closing up shop, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little uneasy in terms of job security. Thanks to a federal law called the WARN Act—Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification—New Yorkers can easily check if employers plan serious cuts or branch closures, depending on the size of the company.
Essentially, the law requires employers with 100 or more full-time employees to give 60 days of advanced notice for plant closings or mass layoffs. A “mass layoff” is defined as: (1) loss of 500 or more jobs at an employment site; or (2) loss of 50 to 499 jobs, if that number makes up more than 33% of the company’s workforce.
Some states have even stricter rules, requiring WARN notices from smaller companies or employers planning layoffs that affect fewer people. For-profit and non-profit companies are covered by the federal law, but government jobs are not. There are other exceptions and situational factors, many of which are covered in a Department of Labor FAQ.
The WARN Act requires employers to give written notification to employees (or their union representatives) who may be reasonably affected by planned layoffs or closures. It’s a federal law, so the requirements apply in all 50 states.
New York is among the many (but not all) states that make filed WARN notices publicly available online. For example, California, Florida, and Texas also have databases that are easy to download or search through online.
For those stressed about their job, remember that the nature of the WARN Act requires the company to inform employees who may be affected. If your job is at risk in one of the mass layoffs or closures described by the law, you should already have been notified before finding the information online.
The latest jobless claims numbers, published Thursday, show 13,000 more people applied for unemployment benefits in the last week of April when compared to the week before. Overall, about 1.8 million people were collecting unemployment in the week ending on April 22. The unemployment rate was still quite low last month at 3.5%.