Mass Layoffs and Plant Closings

Federal law requires advance notice of mass layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). California has its own version of the WARN Act. The two types of laws contain some distinct differences.

Under the federal WARN Act, companies that employ a certain number of employees must provide affected employees, their representatives and specified government officials and agencies with 60 days’ advance, written notice prior to any mass layoffs or plant closings.

California’s version of the WARN Act is broader in scope than the federal act and affects more employers. California businesses must comply with the requirements of both laws.1 Penalties, including up to 60 days’ back pay per employee, could be assessed for failing to provide required notice.​

  • Covered Employers

    Covered EmployersEmployers are covered by the federal WARN Act if they have 100 or more employees, not counting part-time employees who have worked less than 6 of in the last 12 months and not counting employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week  More »

  • Events That Trigger the WARN Act

    Events That Trigger the WARN ActAll of the following events trigger the notice requirement under federal or state law: plant closing, mass layoff, termination, relocation.  More »

  • WARN Act Notice Content and Recipients

    WARN Act Notice Content and RecipientsThe content of the notice you must give and the manner in which you must serve the notice are substantially the same under both federal and state law.   More »

  • Exceptions to the 60-Day WARN Notice Requirement

    Exceptions to the 60-Day WARN Notice RequirementWARN specified limited conditions under which the 60-day notice requirement can be reduced or eliminated under some circumstances.  More »

  • Penalties for Violating the WARN Act

    Penalties for Violating the WARN ActIf you violate the WARN Act, you must pay back pay and benefits to each affected employee for each day of the violation, up to a maximum of 60 work days  More »