Vermont Mini-WARN Goes into Effect
Starting January 15, 2015, Vermont employers with 50 or more employees will be required to comply with new notice requirements before conducting a closing or mass layoff. These new regulations are similar, but not identical, to federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) requirements that apply to most employers with 100 or more employees. Under the new law, covered employers who are planning a mass layoff or business closing must give the Commissioner of Labor and the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development 45-days’ notice. 30-days’ notice must be given to the affected employees, the local chief elected official or administrative officer of the municipality, and the union bargaining agent, if any. The notice must include:
- The approximate number of employees being laid-off;
- The job titles of those being laid-off;
- The anticipated date of layoff or business closure; and
- Information about the affected worksite.
When calculating whether the 50 employee threshold has been met, employers must include both full-time employees and part-time employees who work 1,040 hours or more per year. A layoff will be considered a mass layoff when 50 or more employees are laid off within a 90 day period. The law provides some exceptions from these notice requirements including for circumstances when the closure or layoff was not foreseeable, when the need for the closure or layoff was caused by natural disaster, when the organization is attempting to secure financing to avoid the closure or layoff and that effort would be hindered by an announcement, and when the closure or layoff is the result of a strike.
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