Illinois Warn Act: A Comprehensive Overview

Mar 18, 2024
6 mins to read
Illinois Warn Act: A Comprehensive Overview

Learn about the Illinois WARN Act and its protective measures for employees, including its requirements and exceptions.

The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act obligates employers to give advance notice of essential layoffs. Read this blog to learn about this law and its requirements and exceptions. 


The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to provide at least 60 days' notice before mass layoffs or plant closures. This law protects employees and their families by giving them some time to prepare for the economic impact.

In this blog, we'll cover essential details about the Illinois WARN Act, its requirements and the exceptions of this Act.

What's the Illinois WARN Act?

The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act mandates that employers provide at least two months' notice before closing a facility or initiating mass layoffs. This legislation plays a crucial role for employees and employers, aiming primarily to afford workers and their families sufficient time to prepare for the economic consequences.

Under the federal WARN Act, the government (both federal and state) can't take action if the rules aren't followed. Instead, only affected employees and local government officials have the authority to take action in federal court.

What are the Illinois WARN Act Requirements?

There are some requirements for employers to follow for this law. Here are some fundamental requirements:

  1. More than 75 Full-time Employees: To be covered by the WARN Act, an employer must have 75 or more full-time employees.
  2. 60-day Notice Period: Employers must give their employees at least two months' notice of a plant closure or mass layoff. 
  3. Site Closure: The WARN Act defines site closure as the closedown of a single plant of employment or one or more facilities within a single site.
  4. Mass Layoff: This refers to the employment loss at the site during any 30-day period or for at least 33% of the employees (excluding part-time employees) and at least 25 full-time or 250 full-time employees.
  5. Notice's Content: The notice must include the expected date of the first separation and the anticipated schedule for making separations, the job titles of positions, and the names of the employees currently holding impacted jobs.

What are the exceptions of the Illinois WARN Act?

There are some exemptions where certain situations can reduce the obliged notice period, and here's the list of these exceptions:

  1. Fewer than 50 employees: If a site is closing and less than 50 employees lose their jobs at a single plant, this doesn't trigger the WARN Act. 
  2. Less than 33%: The WARN Act doesn't prompt action if 50-499 employees lose their jobs, equating to less than 33% of the employer's active personnel.
  3. Seasonal or Temporary Employees: No notice is required for these positions if a plant has seasonal or temporary employees.
  4. Unforeseeable Business Circumstances: This applies to sudden and unexpected conditions outside the employer's control, such as a severe economic downturn.
  5. Natural Disasters: Natural disasters such as floods, storms, tidal waves or earthquakes that cause a dramatic closure are exempted from this law.
  6. Faltering Business: If a company is seeking capital and believes that giving the required notice would prevent it from securing the capital, it is exempt from this law.


We've taken a close look at the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, a law that helps employees and their families prepare for job losses due to dramatic changes like company shutdowns or lots of layoffs.

Our blog included the Act's requirements, like the mandatory 60-day notice, and its exceptions, such as cases of unforeseeable business situations. The main goal of the Illinois WARN Act is to ensure that companies plan responsibly and treat their employees with fairness during significant transitions. To read learn more about other WARN Acts and its impact on employees, take a look at our California WARN Act blog.

Gayé Padir
Gayé Padir

Gaye is a Marketing and Content Intern at Litespace. She completed her bachelor's in sociology and later obtained a certificate in marketing. She's eager to combine her sociology knowledge and marketing to create compelling content for Litespace.

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