Rapid Response/WARN

Responding to layoff notices from Merced County employers

Worknet Merced County serves employers and workers affected by layoffs and plant closures through the Rapid Response/WARN program.

How does it work?

Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, employers in Merced County must inform Worknet Merced of layoffs and plant closures. Once Worknet Merced receives a layoff notice from an employer, the Rapid Response team meets with the company and schedules a Rapid Response workshop for the company’s affected workers. At the workshop, the Rapid Response team presents information about resources available to help laid off workers. Resources include job fairs, Unemployment Insurance programs, and training information. These presentations are typically held at the employer locations, but can be done at a nearby facility or our Worknet Merced locations in Merced and Los Banos.

How does a Rapid Response workshop benefit an employer?

Providing resources to help with the layoff transition results in multiple benefits to employers, including:

  • Higher worker morale and lower absenteeism during layoff event due to reduced stress
  • Lower unemployment insurance costs as workers are re-employed more quickly when services begin prior to layoff
  • Decreased likelihood of sabotage or work disruptions
  • Better public relations for an employer. Rapid Response can work with the media to highlight services an employer is providing to its workers during a layoff period, if needed

How do employers get started?


What is a WARN?

A WARN is a layoff notice from an employer. These notices provide protection to employees, their families and their communities by requiring 60 days’ notice of layoffs or plant closings, giving employees time to look for other work, file for unemployment or take care of other items that could be affected by their employment status.

When does an employer need to file a WARN?

In California, employers must file a WARN if they are a “covered establishment” with 75 or more employees (part-time or full-time). Employees must have been employed for at least 6 months of the 12-month period preceding the WARN date. Any plant closure or layoff that affects 50 or more workers within a 30-day period must be reported, regardless of the size of the company as a whole. Notification of layoffs and plant closures must occur at least 60 days in advance, or be subject to fines and worker compensation. Visit the Employment Development Department (EDD) for more information.

How does an employer file a WARN?

An employer must first notify employees of the upcoming layoff. Then, the employer must submit a WARN to the local Workforce Development Board (Worknet Merced), local elected officials (chief elected officials of the city and county governments in which the employer is located) and EDD. For a list of WARN recipients in Merced County, click here.

The contents of a WARN must include the following:

  • Company letterhead
  • Name/address of affected employment site
  • Name and phone number of company representative to contact
  • Whether the layoff/closure will be permanent or temporary
  • The expected separation date
  • Job titles of affected workers, and the number of affected workers in each classification
  • Whether bumping rights exist
  • The name/contact information of union representation/union official (if applicable)