A layoff is a termination of employment at the will of the employer. It may be temporary or permanent and can occur for a number of reasons, including downsizing, changes in market conditions, or new technology. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) imposes restrictions on the way layoffs are handled (29 U.S.C. Sec. 2101et seq.; 29 U.S.C. Sec. 639.1et seq.). It is designed to give employees advance notice of the layoff in order to find another job and/or seek retraining in a new occupation and to give state dislocated-worker units adequate preparation to assist affected workers.
Employers must comply with the WARN Act if they have 100 or more full-time employees or 100 or more employees, including part-time employees, who regularly work a total of 4,000 hours per week, exclusive of overtime. The Act defines part-time employees as those who work an average of fewer than 20 hours per week or who have been employed for fewer than 6 of the 12 months preceding the date on which notice is required (29 U.S.C. Sec. 2101).
Temporary employees are individuals hired with the understanding that their jobs will end when a specific project ends. Workers on temporary layoff who have a reasonable expectation of recall are counted as employees. An employee has a reasonable expectation of recall when he or she understands, through notification or industry practice, that his or her employment has been temporarily interrupted and that he or she will be recalled to the same or a similar job (20 CFR Sec. 639.3). In addition, an employer may have several sites of employment under common ownership or control, yet there is only one "employer" for purposes of the Act.
Independent contractors ...