(NEXSTAR) – Between tons of tech layoffs and major retailers closing up shop, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little uneasy in terms of job security. Depending on the size of your company and your state of residence, you may be able to easily check if your employer is planning serious cuts or branch closures.
It’s thanks to a federal law called the WARN Act, which stands for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Essentially, the law requires employers with 100 or more full-time employees to give 60 days of advanced notice for plant closings or mass layoffs. A “mass layoff” is defined as: (1) loss of 500 or more jobs at an employment site or (2) loss of 50 to 499 jobs, if that number makes up more than 33% of the company’s workforce.
Some states have even stricter rules, requiring WARN notices from smaller companies or employers planning layoffs that affect fewer people.
For-profit and non-profit companies are covered by the federal law, but government jobs are not. (There are other exceptions and situational factors, many of which are covered in a Department of Labor FAQ.)
The WARN Act requires employers to give written notification to employees (or their union representatives) who may be reasonably affected by the planned layoffs or closures. It’s a federal law, so the requirements apply in all 50 states.
On top of that, many (but not all) states make filed WARN notices publicly available online. California, New York, Florida and Texas, for example, all have databases that are easy to download or search through online.
A Department of Labor spokesperson told Nexstar “some states publish a listing of received WARN notices on their websites. However, they are not required to do so. Thus, the frequency and amount of information often varies.”
A recent May 3 WARN notice reported the following South Carolina companies are planning layoffs:
- TELUS International – Charleston County
- Transdev – Charleston County
- WestRock Services, LLC – Charleston County
- DAK Americas PET Resins – Berkeley County
- Renfro LLC – Laurens County
- Monitronics International, Inc – York County
- HealthHelp Nurse Triage 24 – York County
- Aspiration Partners, Inc -York County
- RUME Medical Group – York County
- Footprint South Carolina, LLC – Chester County
- Parkdale Mills – Aiken County
- Fraenkische USA, LP – Anderson County
- Phenix Engineered Textiles, Inc. – Spartanburg County
- Morrsion Healthcare – Greenville County
- Jand Grace Delivery, LLC – Greenville County
- PeerStreet, Inc. – Richland County
- Radius Global Solutions LLC – Richland County
- Stanley Black & Decker – Chesterfield County
- Timken Gaffney Bearing Plant – Cherokee County
- Cascades Tissue Group – Barnwell County
According to the WARN Report South Carolina published by SC Works, 2,276 employees will be impacted by the layoffs.
For those stressed about their job, remember the nature of the WARN Act requires the company to inform employees who may be affected. So if your job is at risk in one of the mass layoffs or closures described by the law, you should already have been notified before finding the information online.
The latest jobless claims numbers, published Thursday, show 13,000 more people nationwide applied for unemployment benefits in the last week of April when compared to the week before. Overall, about 1.8 million people were collecting unemployment in the week ending on April 22.
The unemployment rate was still quite low last month at 3.5%.