Victim of Workplace Closures in California?
Let Our San Diego Employment Lawyers Help
Workplace closures can have a huge impact on employees and their families. Accordingly, federal and California laws have been enacted that require employers who intend on closing most large work sites, plants, or places of business to give advanced notice of such closings to their employees. Failure to provide the required notice can result in steep penalties to employers.
The Federal WARN Act
Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the WARN Act), employers must provide 60 days notice prior to a covered plant closing or mass layoff. The purpose of this notice is to protect workers and their families, as well as surrounding communities.
The WARN Act generally applies to employers with 100 or more employees, including private companies and non-profit organizations, as well as public and quasi-public employers that operate in a commercial context. Employers subject to the WARN Act must usually provide notice to the following parties:
- Affected workers or their representatives (such as a labor union)
- The California dislocated worker unit
- The relevant local government agency.
Affected workers include hourly and salaried workers, managers and supervisors.
Under the WARN Act, employers must give notice of employment site shut downs that result in an employment loss of 50 or more employees during a 30-day period. This generally does not include employees who worked less than six months during the last year, or employees that work an average of fewer than 20 hours per week.
Violations of the WARN Act
If an employer violates the WARN Act, any worker, representative or local government agency may bring an individual or class action law suit in court. Any employer who violates the WARN Act may be required to pay all wronged employees back pay and benefits for the period of violation. Additionally, an employer may be subject to a civil penalty for failing to provide notice to a local governmental agency, as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees if the court deems it necessary. California now has similar laws in place to compliment the federal WARN Act.
Providing Legal Representation to Workers Affected by Plant Closures
If you are an employee who did not receive the proper notice prior to a plant closing, you should consult with a San Diego employment lawyer who has an understanding of these federal and California notice laws. Likewise, if you are an employer seeking to comply with all federal and state employment regulations, you should also speak with a San Diego labor and employment attorney concerning your current practices. For legal assistance, contact a San Diego employment attorney at Pope, Berger & Williams, LLP, today.