Layoffs: The one thing no employee or employer ever wants to hear. Unfortunately, they are a very real reality in the world of business. Some of the biggest companies in the world have historically needed to downsize to stay afloat, which could mean ending the careers of thousands of employees. For example, Ford Motor Company recently announced it would let go of 7,000 employees worldwide, with 2,300 of them here in the United States.
If you work in California and your employer announces a widespread layoff on the horizon, do you have any right to stay employed? The short answer is no.
California’s employment laws do not guarantee that you will keep your job during a company downsizing. You are also not given a guarantee that you’ll be placed into another job. It is also not considered wrongful termination to essentially fire a huge portion of the company at a time.
What Rights Do You Have During Downsizing?
It is not all bad news for California employees when a large company downsizes, though. The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act was adopted and modified by the state, and it gives a modicum of benefits to employees during a downsizing. In particular, many employers have to give advanced notice to employees of a planned company reduction. If they don’t, then they may be ordered to pay damages to all employees who are let go.
Here are the rules to California’s modified WARN Act:
- Applies to a mass layoff of 50 or more employees in 30 days or less.
- Applies when closing an industrial or commercial facility with at least 75 employees.
- Also applies if an industrial or commercial facility is relocated 100 or more miles away.
- 60 day notice must be given if any of the above prerequisites apply.
WARN Act rules do not apply if:
- Only seasonal or temporary employees are let go.
- Downsizing occurred due to a “physical calamity”.
- Union activities like a strike result in a facility closing.
- Natural disaster or an unforeseeable circumstance occurs, which allows for less than 60-day notification.
Protecting Your Rights Under the WARN Act
Is your employer downsizing but they didn’t give you proper warning? You may be entitled to damages thanks to the WARN Act. However, you can bet your employer will not want to fork over any of these damages without a fight.
To give yourself a fighting chance against your employer, rely on Polaris Law Group. For more than 25 years, we have proudly represented employees all across California and in all sorts of employment law conflicts. Thanks to our efforts, millions of dollars in recoveries have been secured for our clients throughout the years.
Call (888) 796-4010 or contact us online to see how we can help with your downsizing case against your large employer.