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A layoff is difficult for everyone. The Rapid Response program provides a variety of free services to employers and their employees when it becomes necessary to downsize.

WARN Notices

The Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act (WARN) is a federal law that, in certain circumstances, requires employers to provide advanced notification to workers when faced with a plant closing or mass layoff. With this early notice, workers and their families are provided transition time to adjust to the prospective loss of employment, to seek and obtain other employment, to access assistance through a Local Workforce Development Board, and enter skills training that will allow them to successfully compete in the job market.

What does WARN Require?

Generally speaking, WARN requires that employers with 100 or more full-time workers give employees 60 days’ notice in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs if they:

  • Close a facility of 50 or more workers
  • Discontinue an operating unit of 50 or more workers
  • Lay off 50 to 499 workers, and these layoffs constitute 33% of the total work force at a single employment site
  • Lay off 500 or more workers at a single employment site

Although some businesses are exempt from WARN, the law encourages all employers to give workers sufficient notice, to the extent possible.

WARN Fact Sheet

Who must receive notice?

Notice must be given to:

  • Each employee to be laid off, or the employee’s union representative, if represented by a union or unions,
  • the chief elected official of the unit of local government where the closing is occurring (mayor),
  • the state’s rapid response coordinator.

Send WARN notice or make inquiries to:

Bill Hancock
Employer Workforce Services and
State Rapid Response Coordinator
405-215-1967 (Cell)
405-815-5356 (Office)

Rapid Response

Rapid Response activities are designed to respond quickly to employer, employee and community needs when a layoff and/or plant closure appears imminent. We have teams of seasoned professionals across the state that are prepared to assist your employees during these transitions. The best scenario – We can provide Rapid Response workshops for your employees before they leave your employment.

Services are tailored to employers, and can be available onsite. Workshops cover the following topics:

  • Tips for finding their next job
  • Programs and Resources available at their local Oklahoma Works Center
  • Community resources available to get them through the transition
  • Unemployment Insurance – How it works and how to file

Every participant receives a copy of Oklahoma’s Job Search Handbook (Last Updated Dec. 2022) – Tools & Resources for Transitioning to Your Next Job. The handbook – which is available in both English and Spanish – includes useful information and resources to help employees move forward.

Job Search Handbook (En Espanol)

Confidentiality – We understand that there is often a need to keep things confidential leading up to a layoff or closing. You can be assured that we can and WILL honor that need.

Layoff Aversion

We have services available to help you avoid layoffs and build the skilled workforce you need. Oklahoma Works’ layoff aversion services include:

  • Incumbent Worker Training: Access resources to help you re-skill or up-skill your existing workforce.
  • Work-Based Learning: Develop customized training to build the specialized talent your business needs to succeed.
  • Federal and State Tax Incentives: Connect to workforce incentives that allow your business to create the skilled workers you need while reducing your tax burden.
  • Sector Partnerships: