Layoff Protections for California Workers

Jan 11, 2021

Thousands of people are being affected by company downsizes, massive layoffs, and shutdowns. Although employers aren’t prohibited from letting go of workers during economic downturns, employees do have rights that protect them against an employer’s wrongdoing. If you’ve been affected by mass layoffs, you should understand your California employment rights.

California Employment Layoff Rights

Workers all across California have been affected by massive layoffs–especially during the current health crisis. Many individuals are struggling financially because their employer failed to give them proper notice before letting them go. Employees have the right to a certain amount of notice before a company closes or before a large-scale layoff. If your employer failed to give you proper notice, you might be entitled to damages.

California Mini-WARN Act

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act gives employees the right to have proper notice before a company layoff. California law expands the rights of employers with the Mini-WARN Act.

Under federal law, employees are covered if the company has at least 100 full-time employees or at least 100 employees who work a combined 4,000 hours or more a week. Under California law, employers are covered if the company is an industrial or commercial facility that employs at least 75 employees.

California’s “mini-WARN Act” applies to the following situations:

  • During a massive layoff when at least 50 employees lose their jobs in a 30-day period
  • The closing of an industrial or commercial facility with at least 75 employees
  • The relocation of an industrial or commercial facility with at least 75 employees to a location at least 100 miles away

Required Notice for Layoffs in California

Employees who find themselves in any of the situations listed above are entitled to a notice of 60 days in advance. Employers must provide specified information about the planned layoffs, including whether they are expected to be temporary or permanent, along with the expected date when the layoffs will begin. Employees should also receive a termination letter.

If your employer failed to provide you with a 60-day notice before a massive layoff, you might be entitled to damages. Contact our Los Angeles employment law attorneys today at (213) 310-8301 for guidance!

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