WARN Act: Layoffs & Plant Closing

When a large employer closes a plant or implements mass employee layoffs, the company is often required to provide advanced layoff notice to the affected employees, their unions and local government agencies. The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act is known as the WARN Act. California has its own layoff laws, even more stringent than the federal WARN Act. The WARN Act generally requires 60-days advance layoff notice of future employment losses.

  • The California WARN Act applies to businesses with 75 or more employees within the preceding 12 months.
  • The California WARN Act applies to layoffs that affect 50 or more employees within a 30-day period.

The layoff notice obligations of the California WARN Act may be triggered by:

  • A plant closing
  • A mass layoff (for a period of 30 days or more)
  • The cessation of industrial or commercial operations
  • Relocation of operations more than 100 miles away

WARN Act requirements do not apply to seasonal or temporary employee layoffs, or those affecting certain project-based work, such as in the motion picture, television and construction industries.

Employers who violate these layoff laws by failing to provide required notices may be liable to affected employees for up to 60 days back pay and benefits.

Contact Employee Rights Attorneys

Call the employee rights attorneys at Kelley•Semmel, LLP for a consultation if you think you and your co-workers have been denied the required layoff notice required by the WARN Act.