Any case of an unexpected termination can seriously disrupt the life and finances of a California worker. Having an understanding of the California WARN Act can provide clarity for workers and employers alike when a plant closes or relocates.
What the Act covers
WARN stands for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification. This act exists to protect employees and communities in the case of a mass layoff, and it only applies to employers with more than 75 full or part-time workers.
The act requires notification to employees at least 60 days in advance of the plant shut down or move. Acceptable notification methods include by way of first-class mail, personal delivery or a notice slipped into pay envelopes.
In some cases, the employer could face liability charges if notification does not come within 60 days. The act allows for civil penalties of up to $500 per day for each violation.
As a result of the act, employees can also claim damages and could even receive back pay from the employer. The WARN Act calls for back pay at the employee’s highest pay rate within the past three years. The employee can also argue for payment of benefits such as healthcare and covered medical expenses.
Though the WARN Act only applies in certain circumstances, it can provide relief to some terminated workers. If you are unsure whether it applies to you, contact an employment law attorney.