Was “mass layoff” the excuse given by your employer to explain why you were fired? You may have just been wrongfully terminated if your employer failed to comply with California’s WARN Act.
For example, have you received at least 60 days’ notice prior to the firing, which your employer refers to as a “mass layoff”? If you were not, you may be entitled to sue your employer and recover wrongful termination benefits.
“Your employer is legally required to provide you with at least 60 days’ notice not only before a mass layoff but also prior to a plant closure or a major relocation,” says our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney at The Kaufman Law Firm.
Failure to provide the notification, as outlined by the WARN Act, requires the non-compliant employer to pay his or her laid-off employees back pay and other benefits for the period of the violation. Meaning: you are entitled to back pay for the number of days or hours by which your employer’s notice fell short of 60 days.
But which employees qualify for California’s WARN act protections? This is the question we asked our experienced wrongful termination lawyer. In order to answer this question, it is important to define what constitutes a “mass layoff” under California law.
In California, a mass layoff is defined as the firing of fifty or more employees during any 30-day period due to lack of work and/or funds. While wrongful termination laws apply in the vast majority of situations when employees are fired individually, those who are fired as part of a mass layoff, cessation of business or activities, and relocation of a business operation (100 or more miles away from the previous location) are protected by the California WARN Act.
In addition to that, the WARN Act protections apply to employers in Los Angeles and all across California as long as they have employed at least 75 employees in the past 12 months.
However, you may not be able to sue your employer for violating the WARN Act just because you were not given notice 60 days prior to the mass layoff, as there are quite a few exceptions that apply to the law.
Our Los Angeles wrongful termination attorney says that these are the exceptions to the California WARN Act notice requirement:
If you can prove that your employer violated the WARN Act and you were wrongfully fired, you may be entitled to damages that differ from those provided to fired employees in wrongful termination cases.
If your employer failed to comply with the WARN Act, you may be entitled to back pay for the period of the violation at the average regular rate received from this employer during the last three years or your final pay rate, whichever is higher. In addition to that, your lawyer will help you recover the value of any benefits that you would have been entitled to during the period of the violation.