Were you recently laid off by American Queen Voyages? Fishman Haygood is investigating claims under the WARN Act. If you were among the 500 people impacted by American Queen Steamboat Operating Company ceasing operations on February 20, 2024, we want to speak with you.
Nationwide WARN Act Attorneys
Fishman Haygood represents employees from a wide range of industries in litigation related to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act violations. Our work on behalf of plaintiffs includes successfully litigating actions of former employees facing mass layoffs, including former employees of Louisiana Medical Center and Heart Hospital  and former employees of Century 21. The firm also currently represents former steelworkers of Bayou Steel in a matter on appeal to the United States Fifth Circuit.
What is the Federal WARN Act?
The Federal Warn Act (29 USC § 2101) was designed to protect employees by requiring that their employers provide appropriate notice prior to a mass layoff or plant closing. With advance notice, employees and their families are better able to prepare for the loss of employment by seeking out alternative jobs or obtaining skills training to compete in the job market.
As described in the WARN Act, a “mass layoff” is defined as a reduction in force, or RIF, that results in either a loss of employment for (1) at least 33% of the company’s full-time employees and at least 50 full-time employees, or (2) 500 full-time employees over a 30-day period. A “plant closing,” on the other hand, is defined as either the temporary or permanent shutdown of a single place of employment that results in the loss of 50 or more full-time employees over a 30-day period.
In the event of a mass layoff or plant closing, the Federal WARN Act requires that “covered” employers provide eligible employees with written notice prior at least 60 days prior to the layoff or closing. Covered employers are those that either (1) employ more than 100 full-time employees or (2) those that employ 100 or more employees of any type (full, part, contract, etc.) who work a combined total of 4,000 hours per week of regular time. The WARN Act does not apply to government employers.
What are My Rights Under the WARN Act?
While mass layoffs or plant closings may be more common during times of economic uncertainty, covered employers still have obligations to their employees.
If your employer meets the criteria above and you were not given at least 60-day written notice, you may be entitled to damages in the form of the amount in wages you would have earned during the 60-day period, plus the value of any benefits. If you were fired, laid off, furloughed for more than six months, or experienced a reduction in your work hours by half, you have rights under the WARN Act.
You also may have different rights under a specific state’s version of the WARN Act. Our attorneys can determine whether your case is stronger at the state or federal level.
When Should I Contact an Attorney?
Were you part of a mass layoff or plant closing? If your former company meets the criteria as a “covered” employer and you were not given at least 60-day written notice, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Even if your employer declares bankruptcy, you may still have a claim. Our firm has specific experience litigating WARN Act cases in the bankruptcy context.
What Should I do if I Have Been Impacted by a Mass Layoff or Plant Closing Without Warning?
WARN Act cases are oftentimes very complex. If your termination qualifies as a WARN Act violation, our attorneys may be able to help. It costs nothing to get in touch, and you’re not obligated to take legal action after talking with someone about your rights.