Under the Federally-funded Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), one of the services that helps to address the effects of mass employees layoffs or company closures is Rapid Response. The State Rapid Response Team goes on site to companies that have issued WARN Notices for the layoff of 50 or more employees or otherwise notified the State Rapid Response Team of impending employee layoffs. The Team works with employers to schedule an on-site visit to meet with affected workers to provide them with valuable information regarding Unemployment Insurance, services available through the One-Stop Career Centers, and services available from other workforce partner agencies to help them through a very difficult time.
The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) provides funding for the Alabama Dislocated Worker Program, “Rapid Response”. The purpose of the program is to promote economic recovery and vitality by developing ongoing, comprehensive approaches to identifying, planning for or responding to layoffs and dislocations, and preventing or minimizing their impacts on workers, businesses and communities. The program provides workers who lost jobs, through no fault of their own, due to plant closures, company downsizing, or some other significant change in market conditions the following:
- Informational and direct reemployment services for workers, including but not limited to:
- Information and support filing for unemployment insurance claims.
- Information about TAA program and support for filing petitions for TAA Certifications
- Information on the impacts of layoff on health coverage or other benefits
- Information and referral to career services,
- Reemployment focused workshops and services
- Information on available training programs
- Convening/facilitating the connections, networks and partners to ensure the ability to provide assistance to dislocated workers and their families such as home heating assistance, food assistance, legal aid, financial advice.
The program goal is to increase employment and employment retention for its participants and to provide employers with a skilled workforce and qualified job applicants.
The division serves as the State Dislocated Worker Unit for Alabama, and notices of plant closings and layoffs should be sent the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN.) The U.S. Department of Labor provides a guide to this act on their website: https://www.doleta.gov/layoff/warn.cfm
The Department of Commerce’s Workforce Development Division has no administrative or enforcement authority under the Warn Act, and therefore does not provide legal advice or interpretations relative to specific provisions of the act as they may apply to a specific dislocation events (i.e. Facility Closing/Layoff). Questions relative to employer/employee relationships (including oral or written employment contracts or agreements), and/or interpretation of provisions of the WARN Act as they may apply to circumstances relating to specific layoff actions should be addressed by legal professionals.
The Alabama WARN list which identifies dislocation events (business and industry closures and layoffs) reported to Alabama Department of Commerce under requirements of the WARN Act and those events where Rapid Response Team assistance has been activated may be accessed here.
Have you been laid off? Are you about to experience a layoff? Click the link below to download a PDF guide with information you may need: