Layoffs & Job Loss


Richard Tumka, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO, Joe Aguiar , Laid-Off Worker, Fall River, MA and John Philo, Legal Director of Sugar Law Center at U.S. Senate HELP Committee hearings on WARN Act reform.

WARN Act Advocacy

Sugar Law uses litigation and public policy advocacy to protect workers in plant closings and mass layoffs.

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to give their workers 60 days notice before a plant closing or mass layoff. Its purpose is to provide workers with time to seek alternative employment or retraining.

Direct representation of dislocated workers around the country by Sugar Law has led to the payment of millions of dollars to those whose employers attempted to avoid complying with the law.

Sugar Law is the recognized national expert on WARN Act prosecution, training, and education. In this capacity, we have testified before Congress in hearings to amend the WARN Act, brought lawsuits on behalf of several thousand workers and unions, obtained favorable rulings interpreting the law, written important amicus curiae briefs to federal courts and the United States Supreme Court, and received wide press coverage.

We also provide technical assistance to lawyers, publish information for attorneys litigating WARN Act cases, and maintain a WARN pleading bank to assist in these efforts.  For an issue brief on state law WARN Act reform, click here and for a brief fact sheet click here.  To view our blog on WARN Act news, click here.

If you have been laid off without notice:

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, passed in 1988, requires employers it covers to give workers advance notice if they will lose their jobs through company closure or mass layoffs.  Workers who have been laid off and have not received notice, in violation of the WARN Act, can obtain help from the Sugar Law Center. If you believe your company may not have complied with the WARN Act’s requirements or if you are unsure and think this may apply, please click here to complete our WARN Act Inquiry Form. Print it and fax it to the Sugar Law Center at (313) 887-8470. An attorney will review your information and respond regarding your potential claim.  Alternatively to contact us or give us a call at (313) 993-4505 one of our attorneys and we will respond.

Please note that we are not, and should not be viewed as, your attorneys in any matter for which you contact our offices or in any legal proceedings until we formally agree to represent you.

The US Department of Labor has also created a Guide for Workers on the WARN Act. The Guide and contact information for Department of Labor officials are available at

Unemployment Insurance 

Unemp Handbook CoverIn addition to our work on worksite closings and mass layoffs, we also provide counseling and representation of unemployed workers who typically cannot find representation from the private bar.  Due to the volume of calls we receive from unemployed workers, the Sugar Law Center has prepared a guide to workers to assist in representing themselves during the unemployment insurance claims process.  The guide Making Your Best Case can be downloaded by clicking here.  This publication was made possible by generous support from the Michigan State Bar Foundation.

For more information on our worksite closing, mass layoffs, and job loss work , please call the Law Center at (313) 993-4505 or email us.