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Illinois Enacts New Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act

June 2005
Arthur Holtzman


Beginning January 1, 2005, employers contemplating a layoff or plant closing in Illinois must not only contend with the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the "Federal WARN Act"), but now must also comply with the Illinois Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act (the "Illinois WARN Act").

While similar to the Federal WARN Act, the Illinois WARN Act covers more employers and expands the persons who must receive advanced notice of layoffs and plant closings.

Both the Federal WARN Act and the Illinois WARN Act cover situations where employers contemplating a mass layoff or plant closing must give sixty (60) days advance notice of the layoff or plant closing.

The table below summarizes some of the differences between the Federal WARN Act and the Illinois WARN Act.

  Federal WARN Act Illinois WARN Act
Application to Employers


(1) 100 or more employees excluding part-time employees; (2) 100 or more employees who, in the aggregate, work 4,000 or more hours per week, exclusive of overtime

(1) 75 or more employees excluding part-time employees; (2) 100 or more employees who, in the aggregate, work 4,000 or more hours per week, exclusive of overtime

Term "Mass Layoff"




Reduction in force at single site of employment that in a 30-day period results in the loss of (1) 50 or more employees at a single site if they constitute at least 33% of the affected full-time work force; or (2) at least 500 employees, irrespective of percentage Reduction in force at single site that in a 30-day period results in a loss of (1) 33% or more of the employees and at least 25 employees; or (2) 250 or more employees, irrespective of percentage.



Delivery of 60 Day Notice of Closing or Layoff




To:  (1) each union representing the affected employees, or if no union, to each affected employee; (2) dislocated worker unit of the state in which the closing/layoff occurs; and  (3) the chief elected official of the unit of local government within which the closing/layoff occurs. To:  (1) all affected employees and their union; (2) Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; (3) the chief elected official of each municipal and county government within which the closing/layoff occurs.  Also, if Employer receives state or local economic assistance, notice must also be given to other government officials pursuant to the Illinois Business Economic Support Act (e.g., Governor, Speaker and Minority the Assembly and Senate)
Enforcement


Federal Courts


Illinois Department of Labor will be eligible to hold administrative hearings; Illinois Department of Labor will have investigative powers to review documents which must be kept confidential



 

The foregoing is just a summary of the Illinois WARN Act, and how it differs from the Federal WARN Act.  If you have any questions, please call Arthur Holtzman at Pedersen & Houpt.

This communication is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Pedersen & Houpt. It should not be construed as and does not constitute legal advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship. This material may be considered Attorney Advertising in some states. Please note that any prior results discussed in this material do not guarantee similar outcomes.

©2005 Pedersen & Houpt, all rights reserved.