03.23.2020 | COVID-19

Employer Layoff Notice Requirements for COVID-19

COVID-19 Client Alerts:

Employer Layoff Notice Requirements for COVID-19

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”) and its California counterpart (“CalWARN”) were created in the 1980s to help mitigate the economic and societal effects in communities of sudden plant closings or mass layoffs. While the laws are similar, the scenarios governed by the two acts are not identical. The WARN Act applies to employers of 100 or more full-time employees when a plant closing or layoff results in an employment loss at a single employment site during any thirty-day period for fifty or more employees (excluding any part-time employees). In general, CalWARN applies when a plant closing or layoff results in an employment loss for at least 50 employees who have worked at least six of the last twelve months at a site employing at least 75 people.
Under these laws, the covered employers are required to give 60 days’ notice to the affected employees and to certain government officials prior to a plant closing or mass layoff. The Governor recently suspended the bulk of the CalWARN Act’s requirements for layoffs caused by COVID-19, defining the COVID-19 crisis as “business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable as of the time the notice would have been required.” The federal WARN Act already includes an exception for unforeseen business circumstances.
Both acts still require employers to give as much notice as reasonably practical and to include specific items in the notices. Employers planning a plant closure or mass layoff should consult with counsel regarding their notice obligations.
Further information about federal WARN and CalWARN can be found at the EDD website: https://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/Layoff_Services_WARN.htm


Copyright © 2020, Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP. All rights reserved. Please be assured that we make every effort to make certain that the information contained in this alert is current at the time this email was delivered. Because laws and legislation are constantly changing, please contact us if you are unsure whether this material is still current. Nothing contained herein should be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended to be for general information purposes only. We assume no liability in connection with the use of the information contained in this article. Given the rapidly evolving nature of legal and governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, unfolding events likely will supersede many of the issues discussed in these updates. We encourage you to contact our lawyers directly for the most current information and counsel regarding legal and governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact us to answer any questions you may have.

Murphy Austin’s Labor and Employment Law Team
Please contact one of our team members if we can be of assistance.

Aaron B. Silva
916.446.2300, Ext. 3027

916.446.2300, Ext. 3010

Dennis R. Murphy
916.446.2300, Ext. 3072

Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP 

‹ Return to COVID-19 Client Alerts

Share this article
Share this article