Iowa has enacted its own version of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act). The Iowa Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (Iowa WARN) requires employers with 25 or more full-time employees to provide at least 30 days' advance written notice of a business closing or mass layoff (IA Stat. Sec. 84C.1 et seq.). Because Iowa WARN is more expansive than its federal counterpart, employers in Iowa need to be aware of and follow the state law provisions when applicable.
While Iowa WARN tracks the federal law in many ways, there are very important differences:
• Iowa WARN provides for enforcement by Iowa Workforce Development.
• Iowa WARN applies to more employers than the federal law.
Legal tip: Many of Iowa WARN's terms and parameters are untested through administrative or court cases. Therefore, employers would be wise to contact a local employment law attorney for advice when facing a business closing or mass layoff.
Additionally, employers must keep in mind that the requirements of the federal WARN Act also apply. The WARN Act imposes restrictions on the way layoffs are handled. It is designed to give employees advance notice of a layoff in order to find another job or to seek retraining in another occupation and to give the state adequate preparation to assist the affected workers. A comprehensive discussion of the federal WARN Act is available.