Over the last couple of weeks, many US airlines have issues WARN notifications. Many airline workers have questions regarding the WARN notice. Below is a Q & A that provides useful information regarding WARN notices. We will update this Q & A as different questions from the workforce are asked.
What is a WARN notice?
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) is a federal statute that provides protection to workers and their families by requiring employers to provide 60 days’ notice in advance of certain involuntary actions, including potential plant closings and mass layoffs. Some states also have their own state specific WARN statutes. Generally, these statutes have specific thresholds that require companies, like Republic, to provide written notifications to employees if there exists a reasonable expectation that they may be affected by an employment loss in certain locations based on information available at the time.
The way potentially affected employees receive their message is different depending on where they work. Potentially impacted frontline employees based in California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York will receive written notification if the Company triggers WARN at their specific work location due to their state statutes. For frontline employees based in all other states, the unions representing each employee group will receive written notification on their behalf. All impacted management and administrative (M&A) employees will receive notification if the Company triggers WARN at their specific work location.
If I receive a WARN notice, does that mean I am furloughed?
No. Just because you receive a WARN notice does not mean your job is being eliminated. However, it is a sign that there is a reasonable expectation that your job may be affected by an involuntary furlough based on information available at the time.
In other words, it is possible that not all employees who receive a WARN notice will be furloughed.
How soon after WARN notices will I find out if my job is officially eliminated?
Because AMTs are unrepresented and do not have a collective bargaining agreement, Republic Airways dictates all the furlough and recall policies.
When the furlough process begins, do AMTs have the right to “bump” to other locations by seniority to maintain employment?
No. Because Republic AMTs are unrepresented and do not have the protections and assurances provided by a legally binding contract, Republic AMTs do not have the right to exercise his/her seniority to maintain employment in other locations.
If I am furloughed, do I have the right to be recalled to my AMT position if/when the demand for air travel improves?
No. Because Republic AMTs are unrepresented and do not have the protections and assurances provided by a legally binding contract, Republic AMTs do not have the right to be recalled to employment if/when industry conditions improve.
What if Republic management creates a furlough and recall policy/procedure, would that be legally binding?
No. While Republic management can create any policy it wants, it also retains the right to change that policy at any time it wants. So, as a matter of fact, Republic management can tell you one thing today and it could change the next day.
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