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Employee Rights, Mass Layoff and Retraining


Section 205 of the Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) applies certain rights and protections of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) to covered employees. This section of the CAA requires that employees must be notified of an office closing or of a mass layoff at least sixty days in advance of the event. The notice must be provided to either the affected employees or to their representatives (for example, a labor union).

A covered employing office's obligation to give notice is triggered by an office closing or a mass layoff. An "office closing" is a shutdown of one or more distinct units within a single site or of the entire site, while a "mass layoff" is employment loss regardless of whether one or more units are shut down. Employing offices are covered by the WARN provisions of the CAA only if they meet certain size thresholds. Special provisions apply to the privatization or sale of operations and to temporary employees.

Although no particular form of notice is required, the notice to affected employees must be in writing, specific, and must contain each of the elements required in regulations of the Board of the Office of Compliance. With limited exceptions, notice must be timed to reach the required parties at least sixty days before an office closing or a mass layoff.


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