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Labor & Employment

Law Firms, Other Employers Battle New Enforcement of WARN Layoff Rules

Posted Feb 23, 2009 7:20 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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For years, because of a stronger economy and a lack of enforcement, the Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act wasn't on some employers' radar screens.

But now laid-off workers are seeking to enforce their right to severance pay, and state and federal lawmakers are eyeing changes that would strengthen the protections for employees, Business Week reports. As a result, employment attorneys say, litigation in this arena has spiked.

Among the defendants in recent WARN litigation is the dissolving Heller Ehrman law firm, the Wage Law blog reported in December.

And Thelen also has been busy defending such litigation, reports the National Law Journal (sub. req.) in its Legal Pad blog.

Although unforeseeable circumstances can be a defense, employers required to pay can be held liable even in bankruptcy, Business Week notes.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "‘Recession-Proof Practice’: Advising Employers on Layoffs"

ABAJournal.com: "Firms Hiring Thelen Partners May Be Liable in WARN Suit, Lawyer Says"

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