When employers intend to lay off employees, they must comply with certain employee notification requirements.
Note: This information is only applicable for state employees. Non-state employees should refer to the Employment Security Department's WARN Act website.
Employees in positions covered by bargaining units must be given notice in accordance with their collective bargaining agreement.
Under Washington state's layoff rules, the layoff notice for permanent employees must be in writing and include:
- The reason or basis for layoff.
- The employee's layoff options as determined by WAC 357-46-035, including any requirement for the employee to serve a transition review period.
- The specific layoff list(s) on which the employee may request placement, according to WAC 357-46-070 and 357-46-080, and information on how to request placement on the statewide layoff list.
- The date by when the employee must select a layoff option.
- The employee's right to appeal the layoff.
Length of notice
Additionally, layoff rules require that:
- Permanent employees being laid off receive at least 15 calendar days' notice, unless the employer and employee agree to waive the 15 day notice period. (See WAC 357-46-025)
- Probationary employees being separated due to layoff receive at least one calendar day's notice. (See WAC 357-46-185)
- Employees being temporarily laid off receive at least seven calendar days' notice. The temporary layoff notice must inform the employee of his or her status during temporary layoff and the expected duration of the temporary layoff. (See WAC 357-46-066)
For Human Resource Professionals please also see HR Professional Portal.