Is Your Employer Conducting Widespread Layoffs? Know Your Rights
By Gregory Thyberg on April 28, 2022
Businesses go through phases and many have periods of success and failure. When financial times get tough, many companies choose to downsize, close facilities, or conduct mass layoffs. In an at-will employment state such as California, workers are not entitled to keep their job when employment is cut. However, that doesn’t mean that workers don’t have other rights.
Federal and state employment laws provide employees with certain rights when an employer conducts widespread layoffs. Employment law attorney Gregory Thyberg, who serves Sacramento, CA, and surrounding areas, helps workers understand their rights regarding layoffs, as well as their legal options if their rights are violated.
Layoff Notification Requirement For Mass Layoffs
The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) law, along with California’s own “mini-WARN” act, ensures that workers are provided with ample notice prior to a mass layoff. These laws specify that any employees who will be let go under a covered layoff must be given a minimum 60-day notification of their loss of employment.
The layoff notification must provide specific information about the planned layoffs, such as:
- Whether the layoffs are expected to be temporary or permanent
- When the layoffs are expected to begin
- When employees can expect to receive a termination letter
- Whether the employee will have bumping rights (the ability to take a different job position from an employee with less seniority)
Does This Requirement Apply To Me?
The federal WARN law and California’s WARN Act do not apply to all layoffs, so it is important for Sacramento workers to consider if they are protected under these laws. The WARN law offers notification rights in the following situations:
- A mass layoff that results in the loss of 500 or more full-time employees at a single site, or 50-499 full-time employees at a single site, if the number of employees laid off accounts for at least 33 percent of the employer’s active workforce
- The closure of a plant, facility, or operating unit that results in a job loss of 50 or more full-time employees during any 30 day period
California’s mini-WARN law further expands notification rights within the state to include the following types of layoffs:
- A job loss of at least 50 employees 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
Employees who are unsure if their layoff is classified as a “mass layoff” under federal or state WARN statutes should consult with Gregory Thyberg to determine if their employment rights have been violated.
What If I Wasn’t Rightly Notified of Mass Layoffs?
If Sacramento workers are laid off in a mass layoff without being given the proper notification, they have the right to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation for damages. Employers can be held liable for all pay and benefits lost for the period of the WARN violation. In addition, employers may be responsible for paying attorney fees or court costs incurred by the plaintiff.
Contact Our Law Office
If your employer has conducted mass layoffs and you believe that your employment rights have been violated, we invite you to discuss your situation with attorney Greogry Thyberg. To schedule a personal consultation, send us a message online or call our law firm at (916) 204-9173.