(NEXSTAR) – Between tons of tech layoffs and major retailers closing up shop, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little uneasy in terms of job security. In many cases, in Texas you’re able to easily check if your employer is planning serious cuts or branch closures.
It’s thanks to a federal law called the WARN Act, which stands for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
Essentially, the law requires employers with 100 or more full-time employees to give 60 days of advanced notice for plant closings or mass layoffs. A “mass layoff” is defined as: (1) loss of 500 or more jobs at an employment site or (2) loss of 50 to 499 jobs, if that number makes up more than 33% of the company’s workforce.
For-profit and non-profit companies are covered by the federal law, but government jobs are not. (There are other exceptions and situational factors, many of which are covered in a Department of Labor FAQ.)
The WARN Act requires employers to give written notification to employees (or their union representatives) who may be reasonably affected by the planned layoffs or closures. It’s a federal law, so the requirements apply in all 50 states.
On top of that, Texas makes its WARN notices publicly available online.
Recent filings show planned job cuts at several businesses: tool manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker in Fort Worth; slaughterhouse cleaning company Packers Sanitation Services in Cactus; solar company HCS Renewable Energy in El Campo; and food concession company Aramark at Trinity University in San Antonio.
The biggest planned layoff is at Walmart in Grapevine, where more than 1,000 jobs are set to be cut in the coming months, according to the WARN notice.
For those stressed about their job, remember the nature of the WARN Act requires the company to inform employees who may be affected. So if your job is at risk in one of the mass layoffs or closures described by the law, you should have already been notified before finding the information online.
The latest jobless claims numbers, published Thursday, show 13,000 more people applied for unemployment benefits nationwide in the last week of April when compared to the week before. Overall, about 1.8 million people were collecting unemployment in the week ending on April 22.
The national unemployment rate was still quite low last month at 3.5%.