Mass Layoffs and Plant Closings

Federal law requires advance notice of mass layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). California has its own version of the WARN Act. The two laws contain some distinct differences.

Under the federal WARN Act, companies that employ a certain number of employees must provide affected employees, their representatives and specified government officials and agencies with 60 days’ advance, written notice prior to any mass layoffs or plant closings.

California’s version of the WARN Act is broader in scope than the federal act and affects more employers. California businesses must comply with the requirements of both laws.1 Penalties, including up to 60 days’ back pay per employee, could be assessed for failing to provide required notice.

1. Lab. Code sec. 1400 et seq.