WARNing: The “Liquidating Fiduciary” Exception Should Not Exist
Jonathan C. Gordon*
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires employers of a sufficient size to provide sixty days’ notice to employees affected by plant closings or mass layoffs. The Department of Labor, meanwhile, said that fiduciaries that are liquidating a business do not have to comply with that notice requirement. Courts have uniformly held that such a “liquidating fiduciary” exception exists. I disagree; there is no such exception.
Using traditional tools of statutory interpretation, I submit that Congress did not mean for such an exception to apply. Thus, Congress should clarify the WARN Act and make clear that there is no exception for “liquidating fiduciaries.” Until then, however, courts should stop applying the exception.