How Is The Texas WARN Act Implemented For Employees And Employers?

Updated on 05/23/2024


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  1. WARN Act Texas provides essential safeguards for workers facing layoffs or plant closures, ensuring they receive advance notice to seek new job opportunities.
  2. Employers in Texas must issue WARN notices at least 60 days before layoffs or plant closures.
  3. Notices must be sent to affected employees, their unions, state authorities, and local government officials.
  4. The act categorizes reports into plant closings, mass layoffs, and extended layoffs, each with distinct criteria and implications.
  5. Failure to provide timely notification can cause penalties, including fines of up to $500 per day of violation.


Are you aware of your rights and obligations under the Texas WARN Act  crucial legislation?


In Texas, the WARN Act requires certain employers to provide advance notice of mass layoffs, ensuring employees have time to find alternative employment opportunities. This act aims to protect workers from sudden job loss and financial instability.


But, these legal requirements can be complex to understand. So, in this guide, we’re going to understand the details of how the WARN Act Texas operates, its requirements, penalties and more! 

What Is the WARN Act Texas?

The WARN Act Texas safeguards workers during layoffs or plant closures. Employers must notify employees in advance of such events to grant them time to find new job opportunities. This protection becomes crucial during periods of increased layoffs in Texas.

The WARN Act functions independently from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets standards for wages, overtime, and unemployment benefits. It should not be mistaken for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in Texas.

How Do Texas WARN Notices Work?

In Texas, issuing WARN notices means giving employees a mandatory 60-day warning before layoffs or plant closures occur. If unionized workers are impacted, notifications go to their union representatives.

While there's no specific template for the notice, it must be documented and include key details like:

  1. Closure or layoff dates and locations
  2. Reasons for the decision, whether the job loss is permanent or temporary
  3. Affected job titles
  4. Union affiliations
  5. Number of impacted employees
  6. Contact information for inquiries

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Who Receives WARN Notices Texas?

Employers covered by this act must provide written notification to affected employees, their labor unions, the State Rapid Response Coordinator, and the primary elected official of the local government where the workplace is located. This notification should be sent at least 60 days before the anticipated plant closure or significant layoff event.

What Triggers the Texas WARN Report?

Specific situations trigger the WARN Act Texas:

  1. Plant closings affecting 50 or more employees for at least 30 days.
  2. Texas layoff notice involving at least 500 full-time employees.
  3. Mass layoffs involving at least 50 full-time employees, comprising 33% or more of the employer's workforce.
  4. Plant closings or layoffs extending over 90 days.

What is the Impact of the Texas WARN Act on Employees and Employers?


  1. Early Notification: The Texas WARN Act mandates that employers must inform their employees in writing at least 60 days before shutting down a plant or conducting a significant layoff. This notification enables employees to brace themselves for potential job loss and explore other job opportunities or training options.
  2. Severance Compensation: In specific instances, employers failing to provide the required notification may be obligated to offer severance pay to affected employees as compensation for the lack of warning.
  3. Access to Retraining: The WARN Act underscores the importance of retraining and provides resources to aid affected employees in acquiring new skills, securing alternative employment, or accessing essential support services.


  1. Notification Responsibilities: Covered employers in Texas must furnish written notification to affected employees, employee representatives, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the local workforce development board at least 60 days prior to shutting down a plant or implementing a mass layoff.
  2. Coverage Criteria: The Texas WARN Act applies to employers with 100 or more full-time employees, except part-time workers, who have been with the company for at least six of the preceding 12 months.
  3. Support for Retraining: Employers are encouraged to collaborate with the Texas Workforce Commission to provide retraining opportunities or facilitate access to job placement services for affected employees.

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What are the different Types of Texas WARN Report?

  1.  Plant Closing

A plant closing occurs when an employment site or facility ceases operations, resulting in job losses for 50 or more employees within a 30-day timeframe.

This could happen due to various reasons, such as restructuring, bankruptcy, or relocation.

  1.  Mass Layoffs

Mass layoffs involve significant job losses but may not necessarily be linked to a plant closing. Instead, they occur when 500 or more employees are laid off within 30 days or when 50 to 499 employees are laid off if they represent at least 33% of the employer’s active workforce.

Mass layoffs can be as a consequence of factors like economic downturns, mergers, or technological advancements.

  1.  Extended Layoffs

Extended layoffs encompass situations where multiple groups of workers experience job losses that individually fall below the threshold for mandatory notice but collectively reach the threshold level within any 90 days.

This can happen during either a plant closing or a mass layoff scenario, reflecting a prolonged period of workforce reduction. Such layoffs could have various causes, including gradual downsizing initiatives, shifts in market demand, or regulatory changes impacting industries.

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Texas WARN List of Requirements

In Texas, employers are subject to the WARN Act if they employ 100 or more workers, excluding those with less than six months of service in the past year or those working an average of fewer than 20 hours per week. The Act covers private, for-profit businesses, private, nonprofit organizations, and public and quasi-public entities operating commercially.

Hourly and salaried workers, managerial and supervisory staff, and business partners are among the employees eligible for notice under the WARN Act.

The primary emphasis of the WARN Act in Texas is on providing notice. Employers must give warnings before implementing significant employment changes that affect many employees.

The state of Texas encourages the WARN Act companies to issue WARN notices, regardless of whether they meet the minimum employee threshold or any other criteria set by the WARN Act.

How is the WARN Act Texas Implemented?

In Texas, the enforcement of the WARN Act is overseen by the United States District Courts. Individuals, their representatives, and local government bodies have the authority to file lawsuits against employers they believe are not complying with the Act. These lawsuits can be brought either individually or as class-action suits.

If the court finds that the plaintiff is in favor, it may choose to award reasonable attorney's fees as part of the overall costs. This enforcement mechanism ensures that employers in Texas adhere to the requirements of the WARN Act. Thus protecting the rights of workers affected by mass layoffs or plant closings.

What Is the Penalty for Violating Texas WARN Notices?

Violations of the WARN Act, such as not meeting notification period requirements, can lead to consequences like back pay for affected employees and penalties of up to $500 per day of violation.

Employers must resolve liabilities with affected employees within three weeks of closure or layoff. Failure to comply may result in individual or class-action lawsuits being filed in the U.S. District Court.

It's advisable to seek guidance from Texas labor lawyers regarding potential violation claims and always refer to official sources for accurate information, as laws may change over time.

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Understanding the WARN Act Texas is essential for both employers and employees to navigate the intricacies of mass layoffs or plant closures. This legislation mandates employers to provide advance notice, granting workers crucial time to seek new opportunities and mitigate financial instability. By understanding its requirements, employers can ensure compliance and avoid penalties.


Is Unpaid Training Legal In Texas?

No, under Texas law, unpaid training is generally not legal unless it meets specific criteria outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the FLSA, training must primarily benefit the trainee, not the employer.

What Are The Federal Warn Act Requirements In Texas?

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires covered employers to provide advance notice of plant closings and mass layoffs.

What Should I Do If I Believe My Employer Violated The Warn Act?

If you believe your employer violated the WARN Act, you should seek legal advice from an attorney specializing in employment law. You may also file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission or the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division.

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Update at 05/23/2024

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