United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 24, 2023
Administration and enforcement of requirements
Civil actions against employers
Any employer who orders a plant closing or mass layoff in violation of section 2102 of this title shall be liable to each aggrieved employee who suffers an employment loss as a result of such closing or layoff for—
back pay for each day of violation at a rate of compensation not less than the higher of—
the average regular rate received by such employee during the last 3 years of the employee’s employment; or
the final regular rate received by such employee; and
benefits under an employee benefit plan described in section 1002(3) of this title, including the cost of medical expenses incurred during the employment loss which would have been covered under an employee benefit plan if the employment loss had not occurred.
Such liability shall be calculated for the period of the violation, up to a maximum of 60 days, but in no event for more than one-half the number of days the employee was employed by the employer.
The amount for which an employer is liable under paragraph (1) shall be reduced by—
any wages paid by the employer to the employee for the period of the violation;
any voluntary and unconditional payment by the employer to the employee that is not required by any legal obligation; and
any payment by the employer to a third party or trustee (such as premiums for health benefits or payments to a defined contribution pension plan) on behalf of and attributable to the employee for the period of the violation.
In addition, any liability incurred under paragraph (1) with respect to a defined benefit pension plan may be reduced by crediting the employee with service for all purposes under such a plan for the period of the violation.
Any employer who violates the provisions of section 2102 of this title with respect to a unit of local government shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $500 for each day of such violation, except that such penalty shall not apply if the employer pays to each aggrieved employee the amount for which the employer is liable to that employee within 3 weeks from the date the employer orders the shutdown or layoff.
If an employer which has violated this chapter proves to the satisfaction of the court that the act or omission that violated this chapter was in good faith and that the employer had reasonable grounds for believing that the act or omission was not a violation of this chapter the court may, in its discretion, reduce the amount of the liability or penalty provided for in this section.
A person seeking to enforce such liability, including a representative of employees or a unit of local government aggrieved under paragraph (1) or (3), may sue either for such person or for other persons similarly situated, or both, in any district court of the United States for any district in which the violation is alleged to have occurred, or in which the employer transacts business.
In any such suit, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.
For purposes of this subsection, the term,1
“aggrieved employee” means an employee who has worked for the employer ordering the plant closing or mass layoff and who, as a result of the failure by the employer to comply with section 2102 of this title, did not receive timely notice either directly or through his or her representative as required by section 2102 of this title.
1So in original. The comma probably should not appear.
Exclusivity of remedies
The remedies provided for in this section shall be the exclusive remedies for any violation of this chapter. Under this chapter, a Federal court shall not have authority to enjoin a plant closing or mass layoff.
(Pub. L. 100–379, § 5,
Aug. 4, 1988, 102 Stat. 893.)
cite as: 29 USC 2104