Solvang, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: Employer based in FL laid off 50+ employees without notice. Does the CA WARN Act apply for the remote CA workers?

Curious if I would have recourse here: Employer recently laid off over 50+ workers (including myself) without notice, effective same day, and offered only one week of severance pay. While this layoff doesn't meet Federal WARN Act requirements, it does trigger the California WARN Act.

Employer is headquartered in Miami. Entire workforce is remote, across all states in the U.S. Several of us are located in California. I have not signed the severance agreement.

Employer was in a fundraising phase; HOWEVER, it was with their current VC investors who were already aware of the need for layoffs and whose advisors actually were helping to compile a list of employees to be terminated. I believe that because of this, the fundraising disqualifier does not apply.

Questions are:

Does the CA WARN Act apply to the CA employees who were laid off? Or does it not apply, since the employer is headquartered in another state?

Any input here is greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under the California WARN Act, employers are required to provide advance notice of mass layoffs or plant closures to affected employees and state and local agencies. The law applies to employers with 75 or more employees who have worked at the establishment for at least six months in the preceding 12 months.

If an employer is headquartered outside of California, the California WARN Act may still apply if the employer has a worksite in California with 75 or more employees. In your case, if you and other laid off employees were working remotely from California for an employer with at least 75 employees, then the California WARN Act may apply to your situation.

If the California WARN Act does apply, your employer would have been required to provide at least 60 days' advance notice of the layoff to affected employees, the California Employment Development Department, and any local workforce investment board. Failure to provide this notice can result in penalties and other legal consequences.

If you believe that your employer violated the California WARN Act, you may want to consult with an employment law attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. An attorney can also advise you on whether it would be appropriate to sign the severance agreement offered by your employer.

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