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California WARN Act

What is the California WARN Act?

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 chance to find other employment and prepare for the upcoming layoff.

The California WARN Act expands on the requirements of the Federal WARN Act. Other states have their own WARN Acts, such as the Illinois WARN Act, New Jersey WARN Act, and New York WARN Act.

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What are my rights under the California WARN Act?

The California WARN Act differs from the Federal WARN Act in a number of ways ways. For example:

  • The California WARN Act applies to layoffs that affect 50 or more employees within a 30-day period. Unlike the Federal WARN Act, the California WARN Act does not require the laid-off employees to constitute a certain percentage of the company's total work force.
  • The California WARN Act applies to businesses with 75 or more employees, while the Federal WARN Act applies to businesses with 100 or more employees.
  • Unlike the Federal WARN Act, the California WARN Act applies to part-time employees in addition to full-time employees.

Laid off without proper notice?

Think your former employer violated the California WARN Act? Free and confidential consultations are available with a employment attorney by calling (866) 981-4800 or by filling out the form to the right.

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WARN Act Tips for Employees
  1. In addition to mass layoffs that all occur on the same day, gradual layoffs that take place over time may also violate the WARN Act. If you have been laid off as part of a structured reduction in the workforce without 60 days of notice as required by the WARN Act,  you may be entitled to unpaid wages and benefits. 
  2. A layoff does not have to be permenent to violate the WARN Act. Work furloughs of more thn six months and heavy reductions in your work hours for extended periods of time can also violate the WARN Act and entitle you to compensation. 
  3. Employees who are laid off that are entitles to severance pay under the company's severance pay policy may be able to recover 60 days of WARN Act pay and benefits in addition to their severance pay. 
  4. Some states, such as California, New York, and New Jersey, also have their own WARN Acts. States that have their own WARN Acts can provide greater employee prtections and can subject employers to additional penalties. If you and others at your company have been laid off, be sure to speak to a WARN lawyer promptly about your state and federal WARN Act rights. 
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