In today’s competitive economic environment, employers can be faced with reducing labor costs when their business declines. Miles & Stockbridge labor and employment lawyers have counseled numerous employers of all types to structure their preparation for a plant closing or a workforce reduction so that it complies with applicable state and federal advance notification and discrimination rules. We advise on the workforce productivity, cost, and demographic factors that should be documented before making such decisions. We also offer guidance on the workforce reduction and plant closing regulations applicable to pensions and employee benefits, including ERISA and COBRA.
In our experience, taking the time to thoroughly address these issues before a workforce reduction or plant closing can save an employer from future charges, claims, litigation, and bad publicity. We work to protect our clients while helping them achieve their necessary objectives.
We have particular familiarity with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires employers with 100 or more employees to provide notice sixty days in advance of covered plant closings, business sales, and mass layoffs. Because such notices must be provided not only to employees and their representatives, but also to the appropriate units of state and local government, effective planning for WARN notification is a necessity. Miles & Stockbridge has advised clients on numerous notification efforts in Maryland and other states. Because of our extensive contacts at the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, in particular, and our comprehensive experience working with local governments from Northern Virginia to Pennsylvania, we are thoroughly familiar with notification and communication procedures and can design prompt and efficient communication of a plant closing or similar event that meets all applicable legal requirements.