Large Layoffs on the Rise-Don’t Forget WARN Notifications

It’s only a one-month snapshot of the economy, but last week’s release of data on “mass layoffs” in the United States provides some further confirmation of a weakening job market.

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employers took 1,579 mass layoff actions in July involving 145,000 workers, seasonally adjusted, as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance.

“The manufacturing sector accounted for 28 percent of all mass layoff events and 33
percent of initial claims filed in July. A year earlier, manufacturing made up 25
percent of events and 31 percent of initial claims. Within this sector, the number
of claimants in July 2011 was greatest in the transportation equipment subsector.”

But the industry with the largest number of mass layoff initial unemployment claims (not seasonally adjusted) was the temporary services sector.  That provides a glimmer of hope, since it may be easier for workers to find temporary employment when the economy improves just a little bit. Which may be as good as it gets for a while.

The data cover layoffs of 50 or more employees beginning in a given month, regardless of duration.

Coincidentally, 50-employee layoffs are the minimum required for triggering of the plant notification requirements under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Raul Pulido on August 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    What is the Ohio Law on Employees that used their personal vehicle and cell phone to meet clients and talk to clients? does the employer have to reimburse for all those cost or not?


    • Thanks for your question. Here’s what I learned from another cite about this question.

      If the employee owns the cell phone, “any amounts the employer reimburses the employee for business use of the employee’s own phone may be excludable from wages if the employee accounts for the expense under the accountable plan rules. See Publication 15, Employer’s Tax Guide (Circular E), for more information about the accountable plan rules.”

      A relevant portion of Publication 15

      To be an accountable plan, your reimbursement or allowance aarrangement must require your employees to meet all three of the following rules.

      1.They must have paid or incurred deductible expenses while performing services as your employees. A reimbursement or advance may not be paid instead of a wage payment.
      2.They must adequately account to you for these expenses within a reasonable period of time.
      3.They must return any amounts in excess of expenses within a reasonable period of time.

      I’m no aware of any specific Ohio law on the question.


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