Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sometimes it's hard to be a liberal commie pinko

I’ve spent yesterday and today researching WARN, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act in its federal and state forms.

Now I’m all in favor of the worker, the bedrock of our society.  But, you knew there was a but, right?

Putting it overly simplistically, the statute says that companies of a certain size (100 employees for the feds, 75 for the state) can’t lay off more than a third of their workers at any given location unless they give sixty days notice and the workers get pay, benefits, FICA and so on during the notice period.

So say you wanted to lay off 50 people because you don’t have anything for them to do and each of them makes an average of $700 a week, call it $1,000 with fringes.  You are going to spend $200,000 to do it at a point when you are losing money, the reason you want to lay them off in the first place.  (A good number of the court decisions about the statute are from bankruptcy court, which should tell you something about the statute’s effect on companies that fall victim to its provisions.)

And that catchy statute name with the word retraining in it?  Nothing in the statute deals with retraining workers.  The “adjustment” seems to be that the company, rather than the government, is paying unemployment benefits, for the first sixty days.


Anonymous said...

The way companies get around that is to hire "temporary" workers. I know people that have worked "temp" jobs for several years at the same company.

Dave said...

That just saves the company benefits when the business is a viable concern. When the business is going down the tubes and there is no work to do, a worker, temp or permanent, costs the company with no "return on investment." I know you hate such a phrase.

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but I don't think that 60-day thing applies to temps. For example, at the local Trane plant only management is direct. The shift workers are all Temps, technically working not for Trane but for Manpower, Kelly, or one of the other agencies. Trane pretty much adds and deletes shifts at will.

Trane pays its temps $10 an hour, no benefits, and that's considered a good paying job around here. If through poor planning they somehow got stuck paying workers for an extra nine weeks, I don't think it would break them.

j said...

And you wonder why jobs are going off shore!

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