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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19673
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I work and we are undergoing a very painful WFR. I figure at

Customer Question

I work for HPE and we are undergoing a very painful WFR. I figure at sometime as this is being done in "waves" that I'll be caught up in this. A couple of questions... under WARN, an employer is obligated to give 60 day notice. 1. Does this apply here? and 2. If so, I'm pretty sure that no formal notice was ever given. Whitman the CEO has indicated that there was going to be WFR in various news interviews, does that count? Also, they are offering a severance package, but they continue to reduce the terms at each progressive wave. Clearly not fair, but is it legal to offer group 1 "X" and group 2 "X-Y".
Waiting for the shoe to drop
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 months ago.


Thank you for the information and your questions. WARN may or may not apply to the work force reduction in your Company's case. Set out below is the law as it relates to WARN and mass layoffs. As you can see, it is highly fact (number and timing) specific. So, you will need to apply it to your specific situation and the applicable statistics.

Keep in mind that as long as the employer pays severance of at least 60 days, then they have done enough to satisfy the 60 day notice law. In other words, they could have a mass layoff where they show up on the day of the layoff and let everyone go and as long as that notice includes 60 days pay of severance or wages, that is the 60 days notice.

As for how much severance the Company must offer. They don't have to offer any (again assuming that they don't need to in order to satisfy the 60 day notice requirement), so they can offer more or less to one group or the other as long as they aren't distinguishing the amount offered on an impermissible reason, such as gender, race, national origin, age (40), disability, religion, etc.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. Thank you.

Mass Layoff: A covered employer must give notice if there is to be a mass layoff which does not result from a plant closing, but which will result in an employment loss at the employment site during any 30-day period for 500 or more employees, or for 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33% of the employer's active workforce. Again, this does not count employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week for that employer. These latter groups, however, are entitled to notice (discussed later).

An employer also must give notice if the number of employment losses which occur during a 30-day period fails to meet the threshold requirements of a plant closing or mass layoff, but the number of employment losses for 2 or more groups of workers, each of which is less than the minimum number needed to trigger notice, reaches the threshold level, during any 90-day period, of either a plant closing or mass layoff. Job losses within any 90-day period will count together toward WARN threshold levels, unless the employer demonstrates that the employment losses during the 90-day period are the result of separate and distinct actions and causes.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 20th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings, (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good.If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.