California Layoff laws & HR compliance analysis

California Layoff: What you need to know

California has adopted provisions similar to the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) that require industrial or commercial facilities employing 75 or more workers within the previous 12 months to provide 60 days' written notice to employees in the following circumstances:
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• Before conducting a mass layoff of 50 or more employees during any 30-day period; or
• Before a plant closing or a relocation to a new location 100 miles or more away that affects all or substantially all workers at the facility (CA Lab. Code Sec. 1400 et seq.).
Note: A California Court of Appeals held that an employer does not have to provide 60 days' notice to employees when, as a result of a sale of a business, the employees are transferred to another operation and have essentially the same position, benefits, and compensation (MacIsaac v. Waste Management Collection and Recycling, Inc., 134 Cal. App. 4th 1076 (2005)).
However, the court also indicated that employers may still be bound to the law's notice requirements if employees are transferred to new jobs with inferior wages and different benefits as a result of a sale. As such, employers must remain vigilant in making sure that they are in compliance with the state WARN law.
Notice must be provided to the affected employees, the California Employment Development Department (EDD), the local workforce investment board, and the chief elected official of each city and county government in which the termination, relocation, or mass layoff occurs.
The notice must be in writing and contain all the elements required by the federal WARN Act. The same notice may be used to comply with both laws. However, the notice provided to the State Dislocated Worker ...

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