WARN Act Violations / Mass Layoffs Without Proper Compensation

The California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as the WARN Act, protects workers who have suffered a mass layoff, plant closing, or relocation by requiring employers to give a 60 day advance notice to affected employees.  This notice gives employees the opportunity to seek and find other employment and prepare for the upcoming layoff. 

The California WARN Act provides the 60 day advance notice to both hourly and salaried workers, as well as executives, managers and supervisors.   The California WARN Act applies to layoffs that affect 50 or more employees within a 30-day period and applies to businesses with 75 or more employees.  The California WARN Act applies to part-time employees in addition to full-time employees.

If you think your former employer violated the California or Federal WARN Act, contact our WARN Act lawyers online, or call us at (310) 556-9687 for a free and confidential consultation.  The following may be helpful in determining whether an employer has violated either the California or Federal WARN Act.  

Covered Employees

Federal Warn Act

Applicable only to employers with 100 or more full-time employees who must have been employed for at least 6 months of the 12 months preceding the date of required notice in order to be counted.  

California Warn Act

Applicable to a "covered establishment" with 75 or more full or part-time employees.  As under the federal WARN, employees must have been employed for at least 6 months of the 12 months preceding the date of required notice in order to be counted.

Plant Closing or Layoff Requiring Notice

Federal Warn Act

Plant closings involving 50 or more employees during a 30-day period.  Layoffs within a 30-day period involving 50 to 499 full-time employees constituting at least 33% of the full-time workforce at a single site of employment.  Layoffs of 500 of more are covered regardless of percentage of workforce.

California Warn Act

Plant closing, layoff or relocation of 50 or more employees within a 30-day period regardless of percentage of work force.  Relocation is defined as a move to a different location more than 100 miles away.

Legal Jurisdiction

Federal Warn Act

Enforcement of WARN requirements through United States district courts. The court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.

California Warn Act

Suit may be brought in "any court of competent jurisdiction". The court may award reasonable attorney’s fees as part of costs to any prevailing plaintiff. The California WARN law is in the Labor Code and the authority to investigate through the examination of books and records is delegated to the Labor Commissioner.

Employer Liability

Federal Warn Act

An employer who violates the WARN provisions is liable to each employee for an amount equal to back pay and benefits for the period of the violation, up to 60 days, but no more than half the number of days the employee was employed by the employer.

California Warn Act

A possible civil penalty of $500 a day for each day of violation.  Employees may receive back pay to be paid at employee’s final rate or 3 year average rate of compensation, whichever is higher.  In addition, employer is liable for cost of any medical expenses incurred by employees that would have been covered under an employee benefit plan.  The employer is liable for period of violation up to 60 days or one-half the number of days the employee was employed whichever period is smaller.  

Notice Requirements

Federal Warn Act

An Employer must provide written notice 60-days prior to a plant closing or mass layoff to employees or their representative, the State dislocated worker unit (the Employment Development Department, Workforce Services Division in California), and the chief elected official of local government within which such closing or layoff is to occur.

California Warn Act

An employer must give notice 60-days prior to a plant closing, layoff or relocation. In addition to the notifications required under federal WARN, notice must also be given to the Local Workforce Investment Board, and the chief elected official of each city and county government within which the termination, relocation or mass layoff occurs.

 

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