Advance Notice of Plant Closings: Toward National Legislation

This article advocates the adoption of national legislation requiring advance notice for plants closed or relocated for ostensibly economic reasons. Part I discusses the magnitude of the plant closing problem, focusing upon the costs associated with such closings, the types of assistance available for terminated workers, and the inadequacies of current relief efforts. Parts II and III examine the arguments for and against requiring advance notice of plant closings, and conclude that such a requirement represents sound public policy. Part IV proposes a complete model advance notice statute. The model statute establishes minimum requirements for a viable advance notice system, takes account of the different levels of hardship caused by these closings, and does not require advance notice when it would excessively harm the employer. The adoption of this article’s model statute would mitigate substantially the crisis posed by the numerous plant closings across the United States.