The recent economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to reduce staff or close operations. A 1988 federal law called the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires companies to give 60 day advance notice (to the local and state governments and to the union if the workers have one) before a mass layoff or a business closure occurs.
Although WARN Act notices don’t capture every layoff, and a small number of states don’t post them online, these lists are must-see starting points for reporters who want to further understand the impact of the pandemic on the regional and local economy.
Among other things, journalists can compare the WARN Act layoff notifications with CARES Act awards (the pandemic stimulus), state and local subsidy awards, and company violations of state and federal regulations.
Here are the links to online WARN Act state pages: