Yes, Bethelites are unpaid volunteers/employees.
This mass firing of Bethelites in the US will prove to be a drain on state and local government finances as many of these Bethelites will seek government assistance.
Can it be said that the Federal employment law applies to Bethel?
A federal law called Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act ... Act (WARN) requires larger employers to give employees notice 60 days before an ... layoffs, which are defined the same as above but occur in stages over a period of 90 days.
The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) requires larger employers to give employees notice 60 days before an impending plant closing or mass layoff that will result in job losses for a specified number or percentage of employees. Employers who don't comply with this notice requirement may have to pay workers for every day of notice they didn't receive. Under similar state laws, laid-off workers may be entitled to some severance or benefits continuation, as well.
WARN applies only to employees with 100 or more employees, and only if there is a plant closing or mass layoff. The law defines these terms as follows:
- A plant closing is the permanent or temporary shutdown of a single employment site or one or more facilities or operating units with a single site, which results in job loss for 50 or more employees (not including those who work fewer than 20 hours per week) during a 30-day period.
- A mass layoff is a reduction in force that results in job loss at a single employment site, during a 30-day period, for (1) 500 or more employees (not including those who work fewer than 20 hours per week), or (2) 50 to 499 employees (not including those who work fewer than 20 hours per week), if the laid-off employees make up at least one-third of the employer's active workforce.
The law also covers staged plant closings or layoffs, which are defined the same as above but occur in stages over a period of 90 days. This rule is intended to prevent employers from getting around the law's requirements by conducting a series of smaller layoffs.