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A layoff is difficult for everyone. Oklahoma Works provides a variety of free services to employers and their employees when it becomes necessary to downsize. Our goal is to help workers transition from notification of layoff to re-employment as quickly as possible and support employers to provide a smooth and efficient process.

Rapid Response

Typically, Rapid Response services are provided when employers submit layoff and business closing notices under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act or when there is an announcement or notification of a permanent closure (regardless of the number of affected employees), a mass layoff (affecting 50 or more workers), a mass job dislocation resulting from a natural or other disaster, or when a Trade Adjustment Assistance petition is filed. In addition, the Rapid Response program includes layoff aversion activities and services provided by local Rapid Response coordinators.

Rapid Response services include:

  • An employee workshop that provides information on and referral to career services, reemployment-focused workshops, as well as job referrals and training opportunities;
  • Coordination of job fairs and other special employment events;
  • Individualized layoff aversion strategies and activities designed to prevent or minimize the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs.

Tools and resources for workers impacted by a layoff:

WARN Notices

Under certain circumstances, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of plant closures or mass layoffs. The WARN Act is intended to offer protection to workers, their families and communities.

The U.S. Department of Labor provides compliance assistance materials to help employers and workers understand their rights and responsibilities under the provisions of WARN, including everything needed to know about requirements for a WARN notice.

Generally, WARN requires employers with 100 or more full-time workers to 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.

When WARN is required, 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.

Submit WARN notice or make inquires to:

Cody Cox
State Rapid Response Coordinator

Want to receive WARN notices whenever they are released?

Mass Claims for Unemployment Benefits

Mass claims streamline the unemployment benefit claims process for employers faced with either temporary or permanent layoffs. Employers can submit basic worker information on behalf of their employees to initiate claims for unemployment benefits. 

There are many advantages to submitting mass claims, allowing employers to:

  • submit the layoff information before the layoff, which ensures a smooth transition for both employer and worker.
  • establish unemployment benefit claims more efficiently than workers who submit their own.
  • submit the worker's final week of earnings, helping to ensure proper payment.
  • submit information on severance pay or wages in lieu of notice of layoff, reducing subsequent contact by OESC.
  • not receive a Notice of Application for Unemployment Benefits for each employee’s unemployment benefit claim.
  • Automatically become a party of interest to each claim filed.

Layoff Aversion

We have services available to help you avoid layoffs and build the skilled workforce you need. Oklahoma Works provides services to help employers avoid layoffs and build the skilled workforce needed. 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.
  • Tax Incentives: Connect to workforce incentives that allow your business to create the skilled workers you need while reducing your tax burden.
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