Wisconsin Layoff laws & HR compliance analysis

Wisconsin Layoff: What you need to know

Wisconsin law imposes several requirements in addition to the requirements of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act). Employers must comply with both federal and state laws.
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Under Wisconsin law, with certain exceptions, employers with 50 or more employees must provide advance notice of a business closing or a mass layoff, not including strikes or lockouts (WI Stat. Sec. 109.07).
Employers must give at least 60 days' advance, written notice of any business closing or mass layoff to all affected employees, union representative(s), the highest official of the municipality where the business is located, and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). If a local workforce board anticipates that there may be a business closing or mass layoff in the area it serves, the board may prepare a list of resources for affected employees.
Business closing. A business closing is defined as a permanent or temporary shutdown affecting 25 or more employees. The shutdown must be within a single municipality or involve an employment site or one or more facilities or operating units (WI Stat. Sec. 109.07).
Mass layoff. A mass layoff is a reduction of an employer's workforce that affects:
• At least 25 percent of the employer’s workforce or 25 employees, whichever is greater; or
• At least 500 employees.
In both cases, only employees working over 20 hours a week who have been employed for 6 of the preceding 12 months are counted (WI Stat. Sec. 109.07).
Notice content. The required content of the notice is generally the same as that required by the WARN Act. However, the notice to affected employees must include contact information for the local workforce development board ...

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