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Massachusetts Layoff: What you need to know

While Massachusetts has its own layoff notice requirements, state agencies also assist in enforcing the requirements of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act). 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 a new occupation and to give the state adequate preparation to assist the affected workers.
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Plant closings. Massachusetts law contains suggested voluntary standards of corporate behavior in plant-closing situations. Employers financed, insured, or subsidized by a quasi-public agency of the commonwealth must agree to accept these standards. Those employers must provide the longest practicable advance notice and at least 90 days’ notice or equivalent benefits to employees in the event of a plant closing or partial closing (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 149 Sec. 182). A plant closing occurs when a covered employer ceases business permanently at a facility and such action results in the layoff or separation of at least 90 percent of the facility’s workforce during a 6-month period. A "partial closing" is defined as a permanent halt of a major discrete portion of the business where the loss of employment is significant (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151A Sec. 71A).
Massachusetts law also requires employers with 50 or more employees “promptly” to notify the Massachusetts Department of Career Services in the event of a plant closing or partial closing (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151A Sec. 71B). Employers must also arrange with their insurers to maintain health coverage for employees and their dependents for 90 days after a ...

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