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May 2, 2024

Massachusetts Layoff Laws: What You Need To Know in 2024

Understanding Massachusetts' layoff laws is crucial for both employers and employees to ensure compliance and be aware of their rights during employment reductions. In this article, let us look at the layoff laws in Massachusetts including its coverage and requirements.

Does Massachusetts Have a WARN Act?

Yes, Massachusetts has its own version of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which supplements the federal WARN Act. This state-specific act provides additional protections and stipulations regarding layoffs.

What Is The Massachusetts WARN Act?

The Massachusetts WARN Act requires employers to give advance notice to employees and certain government officials before significant layoffs or plant closures. The aim is to provide workers with sufficient time to prepare for the transition and to seek other employment or retraining opportunities.

Who Is Covered by Massachusetts WARN?

The Massachusetts WARN Act covers employers with 50 or more employees. It does not apply to federal, state, and local government entities that provide public services. The law is designed to protect employees by ensuring they are notified in advance of large layoffs or business closures that could significantly affect their livelihoods.

Notice Required by WARN in Massachusetts

Under the Massachusetts WARN Act, employers are required to provide at least 60 days' notice before conducting a covered plant closing or mass layoff. This notice must be given to the affected employees, their representatives (such as labor unions), the local chief elected official, and the state's Rapid Response unit within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Massachusetts WARN Act Requirements

The Massachusetts WARN Act stipulates several key requirements for employers:

  • Notice Period: Employers must give a 60-day advance notice if they plan to lay off 50 or more employees during any 30-day period, or if they are closing a facility employing 50 or more people.
  • Content of Notice: The notice must include the date the layoff or closing will commence, the expected date when the employee will be separated, and whether the layoff is expected to be permanent or temporary.
  • Exceptions: There are exceptions under which the 60-day notice period may be reduced, such as unforeseeable business circumstances, faltering company conditions, or natural disasters.

* This is legal or tax advice.