Higher Education

In the past few years, for-profit colleges have come under increasing scrutiny for high costs compared to relatively low job placement rates. Additionally, some non-profit schools and universities have been struggling with accreditation issues and declining enrollment rates. The result of these difficulties is an increase in the number of schools and universities that have shut down. Not only does this disrupt life for students, but also thousands of faculty and professors who provide services to those students. The employees may be furloughed or lose their jobs in a mass layoff. Everyone from administrative employees to adjunct professors to office-support staff who help the college to function as a learning institution may find themselves suddenly unemployed.

The WARN Act Requires Notice Prior to Mass Layoffs or Shutdowns

The WARN Act protects employees who lose their jobs in mass layoffs and shut downs. This can include large university systems with campuses across the U.S., as well as smaller colleges with one or two campuses. Outten & Golden's WARN Act Practice Group represents the former employees of ITT Technical Colleges and Corinthian College, both of which ended operations following widespread media attention over their reporting of job placement rates for graduates. The attorneys at Outten & Golden also represent former employees of Dowling College and Heritage College/Weston, two regional institutions of higher learning that shut down and filed for bankruptcy in 2016. In these cases, faculty, professors and staff lost not only their livelihoods, but in some cases their department chair pay, tenure, employee benefits, and other compensation to which they were entitled.

An employer that violates the WARN Act may be liable to pay you and each laid-off co-worker up to two months of pay and benefits, depending on the state where you live. During the difficult period after a layoff, Outten & Golden LLP can help vindicate your rights.

In cases where the employer files for bankruptcy and lays off employees, the timing of events can have a significant impact on what employees may be able to recover. A bankrupt company usually lacks the means to pay all creditors in full, including employees. In such cases, you may want to consult with the experienced attorneys at Outten & Golden to discuss your options.

The attorneys at Outten & Golden have a dedicated WARN Act practice group to help employees who lose their jobs when their employers shut down. They have represented faculty, professors and staff across the country, in states such as California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, New York, and Oklahoma.

The WARN Act Can Help You During a Difficult period

Most college campuses employ at least 50 full-time employees, which is the minimum number needed in order for the WARN Act protections to apply to employees. If you are part of a layoff that involved 50 or more employees at single site of employment (such as a school campus) or at least 1/3 of the workforce, the WARN Act protects you. If you experience job loss in a mass layoff, furlough or shutdown, or you suffer the reduction of more than 50 percent of your work hours during a six-month period, you may have a WARN Act claim and should contact Outten & Golden LLP.