(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 Illinois, depending on the size of your company, you may be able to easily check if your employer is planning serious cuts or branch closures.
It’s thanks in part to a federal law called the WARN Act, which stands for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Essentially, the law requires large employers to give 60 days of advanced notice when they are cutting a large number of jobs.
Illinois has its own WARN Act, which goes even further than the federal law. The law applies to employers with 75 or more full-time workers.
Those employers are required to issue a notice when they are:
- Laying off 25 or more full-time employees, and they constitute one-third or more of the full-time employees at the site, or
- Laying off 250 or more full-time employees at a single site
- Closing a work site that employs 50 or more employees
For-profit and non-profit companies are covered by the 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.
Like other states, Illinois makes its WARN notices publicly available online.
According to the most recent filings, there are planned job cuts at several businesses: warehousing and storage company CJ Logistics America in Elmwood; manufacturing company Flanders Corporation in Momence; solar company Compass Group USA in Oak Lawn; and banking company Wells Fargo in Springfield.
The biggest planned layoff is at a Chicago Walmart on Stewart Avenue, where 439 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 already have been notified before finding the information online.
The latest jobless claims numbers, published Thursday, show 13,000 more people applied for unemployment benefits 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 unemployment rate was still quite low last month at 3.5%.