DALLAS (Jan. 14, 2015) – As oil prices drop, layoffs in the energy sector continue to be likely. The national law firm of Baron and Budd wants energy industry employees to know they may have rights under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). If proper notice of a layoff is not provided, an employee may be able to pursue statutory damages against the employer.
The WARN Act, which was enacted on February 4, 1989, requires employers to give employees a 60-day advance notice in the event of mass layoffs. In general, the WARN Act applies to companies that have 100 or more employees. Private, non-profit and for-profit employers are covered, as are certain public and quasi-public entities. Local, state and federal government entities that deliver public services are exempted from the act.
Layoff notices are designed to protect employees by providing them with an adjustment period where they can either find new work or obtain training to prepare them for a career in another field. Salaried and hourly workers, in addition to supervisory and managerial employees, are entitled to notice under the act.
The act dictates that an employer must provide notice if it plans to shut down an operating unit or facility, and that shutdown will lead to layoffs of 50 employees or more within 30 days. Notice must be provided if layoffs are to exceed six months, or if an employee’s work hours will be reduced by more than 50 percent in each month of a six-month period. There are several technical aspects to the WARN Act, so it is important that employees who are laid off without receiving proper notice speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
“A covered employee who is laid off without proper notice by a company subject the WARN Act may be entitled to benefits, back pay and other compensation,” said Allen Vaught, manager of the Employment Law Section of the national law firm of Baron and Budd. “It is vitally important that employees who are unfairly treated get the legal help they need to make sure their rights are protected.”
About Baron & Budd, P.C.
The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Austin and Los Angeles, is a nationally recognized law firm with a 35-year history of “Protecting What’s Right” for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd’s size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals, governmental and business entities in areas as diverse as water contamination, Gulf oil spill, Qui Tam, California Proposition 65 violations, dangerous medications and medical devices, Chinese drywall, insurance claims, consumer fraud, securities fraud and asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.