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Furthermore, the House-passed bill would affect more employers than current law. An amendment on the floor changed the original definition of H.R. 3796 of “plant closing” and “mass layoff” from job losses of 25 or more to job losses of 50 or more. Employers covered under H.R. 3796 would also need to provide affected employees with information about benefits and services, including unemployment compensation and COBRA benefits, available to them upon losing their job. Employers who fail to comply with the provisions of H.R. 3796 would need to provide double back pay over the 90-day period.
SHRM joined HR Policy Association in sending a letter to the House Education and Labor Committee expressing concerns that the bill would be an unwarranted expansion of the WARN Act and cause serious compliance challenges for HR professionals in large and small organizations. Furthermore, the White House issued a statement on the larger trade bill that objected to the inclusion of H.R. 3796, saying the bill’s “expanded coverage, notice period, and increased penalties could impair the ability of employers to recover from restructuring or to negotiate arrangements that would keep their companies viable and remaining workers employed.”
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