H.R. 4072 (103rd): Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Amendments Act

103rd Congress, 1993–1994. Text as of Mar 17, 1994 (Introduced).

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HR 4072 IH1S

103d CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4072

To amend the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to minimize the adverse effects of employment dislocation, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 17, 1994

Mr. FORD of Michigan introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor


A BILL

To amend the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to minimize the adverse effects of employment dislocation, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND REFERENCE.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Amendments Act’.

    (b) REFERENCE- Except as specifically provided otherwise, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (29 U.S.C. 2101 et seq.).

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    (a) EMPLOYER, PLANT CLOSING, AND MASS LAYOFF- Paragraphs (1) through (3) of section 2(a) (29 U.S.C. 2101(a)(1)-(3)) are amended to read as follows:

      ‘(1) the term ‘employer’ means any business enterprise that employs 50 or more employees;

      ‘(2) the term ‘plant closing’ means--

        ‘(A) the permanent or temporary shutdown of a single site of employment, or of one or more facilities or operating units within a single site of employment, which results in an employment loss at such site, during any 30-day period, for 25 or more employees; or

        ‘(B) the permanent or temporary shutdown of one or more sites of employment, or of one or more facilities or operating units within such sites, which results in an employment loss, during any 30-day period, for 100 or more employees;

      ‘(3) the term ‘mass layoff’ means--

        ‘(A) a reduction in force at a single site of employment which results in an employment loss at such site, during any 30-day period, for 25 or more employees; or

        ‘(B) a reduction in force which results in an employment loss, during any 30-day period, for 100 or more employees.’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS-

      (1) NOTICE- Section 3(d) (29 U.S.C. 2102(d)) is amended by striking out ‘, each of which is less than the minimum number of employees specified in section 2(a) (2) or (3) but which in the aggregate exceed that minimum number,’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘which in the aggregate exceed the minimum number of employees specified in section 2(a) (2) or (3)’.

      (2) DEFINITIONS- Section 2(b)(1) (29 U.S.C. 2101(b)(1)) is amended by striking ‘(other than a part-time employee)’.

    (c) SECRETARY OF LABOR-

      (1) DEFINITION- Paragraph (8) of section 2(a) (29 U.S.C. 2101(a)(8)) is amended to read as follows:

      ‘(8) the term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Labor or a representative of the Secretary of Labor.’.

      (2) REGULATIONS- Section 8(a) (29 U.S.C. 2107(a)) is amended by striking ‘of Labor’.

SEC. 3. NOTICE.

    (a) PERIOD- Section 3 (29 U.S.C. 2102) is amended--

      (1) in subsection (a), by striking ‘a 60-day period after’ and inserting ‘the applicable notice period required after’;

      (2) in subsection (b), by striking ‘60-day period’ each place such term appears and inserting ‘notice period’;

      (3) by redesignating subsections (b) through (d) as subsections (c) through (e), respectively; and

      (4) by inserting after subsection (a), the following new subsection:

    ‘(b) NOTICE PERIOD- As used in this section, the term ‘notice period’ means--

      ‘(1) in the case of a plant closing or mass layoff which results in an employment loss for at least 25 but not more than 49 employees, 30 days;

      ‘(2) in the case of a plant closing or mass layoff which results in an employment loss for at least 50 but not more than 99 employees, 60 days; and

      ‘(3) in the case of a plant closing or mass layoff which results in an employment loss for at least 100 employees, 90 days.’.

    (b) RECIPIENT- Section 3(a)(1) (29 U.S.C. 2102(a)(1)) is amended by striking ‘or, if there is no such representative at that time, to each affected employee’ and inserting ‘and to each affected employee’.

SEC. 4. ENFORCEMENT.

    (a) AMOUNT- Section 5(a)(1) (29 U.S.C. 2104(a)(1)) is amended--

      (1) in subparagraph (A)(ii), by striking ‘and’ at the end thereof;

      (2) by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (D); and

      (3) by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraphs:

      ‘(B) interest on the amount described in subparagraph (A) calculated at the prevailing rate;

      ‘(C) an additional amount as liquidated damages equal to the sum of the amount described in subparagraph (A) and the interest described in subparagraph (B); and’.

    (b) LIABILITY PERIOD- Section 5(a)(1) (29 U.S.C. 2104(a)(1) (as amended by subsection (a)) is amended--

      (1) by inserting ‘(A)’ after ‘(1)’,

      (2) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) through (D) as clauses (i) through (iv), respectively, by striking ‘subparagraph (A)’ in clauses (ii) and (iii) and inserting ‘clause (i)’, and by striking ‘subparagraph (B)’ in clause (iii) and inserting ‘clause (ii)’,

      (3) by redesignating clauses (i) and (ii) as subclauses (I) and (II), and

      (4) by amending the last sentence to read as follows:

    ‘(B) Liability under subparagraph (A) shall be calculated for the period of the violation up to--

      ‘(i) 30 days, in the case of a plant closing or mass layoff which results in an employment loss for at least 25 but not more than 49 employees,

      ‘(ii) 60 days, in the case of a plant closing or mass layoff which results in an employment loss for at least 50 but not more than 99 employees, and

      ‘(iii) 90 days, in the case of a plant closing or mass layoff which results in an employment loss for at least 100 employees,

    but in no event for more than one-half the number of days the employee was employed by the employer.’.

    (c) EXEMPTION- Section 5(a)(4) (29 U.S.C. 2104(a)(4)) is amended by striking ‘reduce the amount of the liability or penalty provided for in this section’ and inserting ‘reduce the amount of the liability under clause (iii) of paragraph (1)(A) and reduce the amount of the penalty provided for in paragraph (3)’.

    (d) ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT- Section 5(a)(5) (29 U.S.C. 2104(a)(5)) is amended--

      (1) by striking ‘may sue,’ and inserting ‘may,’;

      (2) by inserting after ‘both,’ the following: ‘(A) file a complaint with the Secretary alleging a violation of section 3, or (B) bring suit’; and

      (3) by adding at the end thereof the following new sentence: ‘A person seeking to enforce such liability may use one or both of the enforcement mechanisms described in clauses (A) and (B).’.

    (e) ACTION BY THE SECRETARY- Section 5 (29 U.S.C. 2104) is amended--

      (1) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (d); and

      (2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following new subsections:

    ‘(b) ACTION BY THE SECRETARY-

      ‘(1) ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION- The Secretary shall receive, investigate, and attempt to resolve complaints of violations of section 3 by an employer in the same manner that the Secretary receives, investigates, and attempts to resolve complaints of violations of sections 6 and 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206 and 207).

      ‘(2) SUBPOENA POWERS- For the purposes of any investigation provided for in this section, the Secretary shall have the subpoena authority provided for under section 9 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 209).

      ‘(3) CIVIL ACTION- The Secretary may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover on behalf of an employee the back pay, interest, benefits, and liquidated damages described in subsection (a)(1).

      ‘(4) SUMS RECOVERED- Any sums recovered by the Secretary on behalf of an employee shall be held in a special deposit account and shall be paid, on order of the Secretary, directly to each employee affected. Any such sums not paid to an employee because of inability to do so within a period of 3 years shall be credited as an offsetting collection to the appropriations account of the Secretary of Labor for expenses for the administration of this Act and shall remain available to the Secretary until expended.

      ‘(5) ACTION TO COMPEL RELIEF BY SECRETARY- The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction, for cause shown, over an action brought by the Secretary to restrain the withholding of payment of back pay, interest, benefits, or other compensation, plus interest, found by the court to be due to employees under this Act.

    ‘(c) LIMITATIONS PERIOD-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- An action may be brought under this section not later than 2 years after the date of the last event constituting the alleged violation for which the action is brought.

      ‘(2) COMMENCEMENT- In determining when an action is commenced under this section for the purposes of paragraph (1), it shall be considered to be commenced on the date on which the complaint is filed.’.

SEC. 5. POSTING OF NOTICES; PENALTIES.

    Section 11 (29 U.S.C. 2101 note) is amended to read as follows:

‘SEC. 11. POSTING OF NOTICES; PENALTIES.

    ‘(a) POSTING OF NOTICES- Each employer shall post and keep posted in conspicuous places upon its premises where notices to employees are customarily posted a notice to be prepared or approved by the Secretary setting forth excerpts from, or summaries of, the pertinent provisions of this Act and information pertinent to the filing of a complaint under section 5(a)(5).

    ‘(b) PENALTIES- A willful violation of subsection (a) shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100 for each separate offense.’.