My employer decided to shut down our facility and issued WARN notices to all but 20 of us. We lucky few are expected to work from home, dedicate a paper free room to our work, allow company representatives to inspect our homes at random, and install and pay for broadband cable. It seems like more expectations are given to us with each passing day. We have not received anything in writing about the new job, only that we have to be ready to work from home within three weeks or that we will face termination if our homes do not pass inspection. I feel unnerved that there is nothing in writing and getting a cable installation will be a large expenditure for me.
Is my only option to quit? Due to the fact that my job changed because the company is closing down the facility, am I entitled to notice under WARN or anything at all? Are there any legal issues that I need to be aware of? When should I hire an attorney?
Thank you in advance for your time.
I am guessing this is all legal except for the part that you have to pay for all of the expenses associated with the work. That could easily lead to you being paid less than the minimum wage and that, of course, would be illegal.
I do not believe there is anything unlawful about what your employer is proposing, but it likely constitutes a substantial change in workplace conditions, thereby entitling you to unemployment benefits regardless of whether you decide to quit or end up being terminated.
It is not completely clear whether you would be entitled to a WARN notice if your termination is not the direct result of the plant closure. Some research by a qualified employment lawyer would be required to answer that question with a high degree of certainty. I believe there is at least a possibility that you do not have rights under WARN, since you have been selected as one of the employees who will not be terminated (assuming you comply with the work-at-home requirements).
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