The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) requires certain employers to provide at least 60 days notice to affected employees before a “mass layoff.”  If multiple, smaller layoffs occur within 90 days of each other, they may be aggregated together to determine whether they collectively constitute a mass layoff subject to the WARN Act.  In Morton v. Vanderbilt University, 809 F.3d 294 (6th Cir. 2016) (No. 15-5417), the court considered whether two separate layoffs were within 90 days and, thus, were subject to the WARN Act under the aggregation provision.  Plaintiffs were terminated by defendant in July 2013.  A second group of employees – who were not parties to this case – were notified in September 2013 that their jobs would be eliminated, and although the second group of employees were told to no longer report to work effective immediately, they continued to receive pay and benefits – and were not eligible to collect unemployment benefits – until November 2013.  The district court held that the second layoff had occurred when the termination notices were sent in September – less than 90 days after the first layoff – and thus both layoffs were subject to the WARN Act under the Act’s aggregation provision.  The Sixth Circuit reversed, holding that the date of the second layoff was not until November 2013, and thus the WARN Act did not apply to plaintiffs.  The court held that so long as the second group of employees continued to receive pay and benefits, there had not been a permanent cessation of employment.  The court stated that there was no obligation under the WARN Act (or elsewhere) for employers to require that employees continue to perform work after a WARN notice.  The court further stated that employers were entitled to rely upon the clear bounds of the WARN Act’s 90-day aggregation provision, and that there is nothing illegal about an employer spacing out layoffs so that some occur beyond a relevant 90-day period.