An employer who violates the WARN Act provisions by ordering a plant closing or mass layoff without providing appropriate notice is liable to each affected employee for an amount equal to back pay and benefits for the period of the violation, up to 60 days. This liability may be reduced by such items as wages paid by the employer to the employee during the period of violation and voluntary and unconditional payments made by the employer to the employee. Additional state penalties may apply.

An employer who fails to provide the required notice to the unit of local government is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for each day of violation. The WARN Act is enforced through the U.S. District Courts. Affected employees, their representatives, and units of local government may bring individual or class action suits against employers believed to be in violation of the WARN Act. In any such suit, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs. The U.S. Department of Labor has no authority or legal standing in any enforcement action and cannot provide specific binding or authoritative opinions or guidance about individual situations.