News & Thought Leadership from Sulloway & Hollis

March 19, 2010

You Have Been WARNed – New Hampshire’s WARN Act Took Effect January 1, 2010

New Hampshire’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (NH “WARN Actî) took effect on January 1, 2010. The NH WARN Act, codified at RSA chapter 275-F, requires all New Hampshire private employers with 75 or more full-time employees to issue a warning to employees and certain local and state officials 60 days before closing a facility or laying-off more than one-third of its workforce. Detailed information regarding which employers and facilities the NH WARN Act applies to, and a review of the statutory exceptions, are set forth in the July and August 2009 editions of this newsletter.

The advanced notice required by the NH WARN Act is intended to provide affected workers and their families with time to adjust and react to a possible loss of employment, including time to try to obtain alternative employment or the skills and retraining necessary to allow the worker to compete in the job market. The NH WARN Act’s requirement of notification to state and local officials is intended to improve the speed and efficacy with which dislocated worker assistance is provided.

The New Hampshire Legislature adopted the NH WARN Act during the summer of 2009 as the recession continued to challenge New Hampshire businesses. Governor Lynch signed the Act into law on August 10, 2009. Less than one month later, Precision Technologies of Pembroke closed its doors without any notice to its employees, which brought the Act’s passage back into the news.

The New Hampshire Department of Labor’s summary of the NH WARN act is available here on the State of NH Department of Labor website.