The WARN Act has an expansive definition of full-time employee as including any employee who works at least 20 hours per week. (Photo: Shutterstock)

When an employer is closing a plant or engaging in a mass layoff, it is important for it to keep its WARN Act obligations in mind. Lately, supermarket chains in Florida, including Lucky’s Market, Earth Fare and Penn Dutch Food Centers, have learned that lesson the hard way after each has been sued in class actions for failing to comply with the WARN Act. The WARN Act stands for Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, and is a federal law that requires covered employers to provide employees with a 60-day advanced notice of the layoffs. The failure of an employer to provide the required notice can open it up to a federal lawsuit by employees.

Lucky’s and Earth Fare were each sued in February under the WARN Act. In the case of Lucky’s, Lucky’s opened its first store in Florida in 2016 and had a store locally in Fort Lauderdale. Lucky’s opened a total of eight stores in Florida. However, due to the divestment of national retailer Kroger in late 2019, Lucky’s announced the closure of all of its Florida stores, as well as 32 stores across the country. The problem is that Lucky’s announced the closure of the stores on Jan. 24, with an expected layoff date of Feb. 12. This was not sufficient advanced notice to employees of the store closures.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?



Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.