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The requirements of California’s WARN Act

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. I recently laid off enough of my employees to trigger a “mass layoff” as defined under the Cali­­for­­nia WARN Act. I failed to give these employees 60 days’ notice of the layoff, as is required under the act. What penalties am I liable for?

A. Under the California WARN Act, an employer that fails to give employees notice of mass layoff, plant closure or relocation 60 days prior to such an action, is liable for the following:

  • Back pay at the average regular rate of compensation received by the employee during the last three years of his or her employment, or the employee’s final rate of compensation, whichever is higher.
  • The value of the cost of any benefits to which the employee would have been entitled to had his or her employment not been lost, including the cost of any medical expenses incurred by the employee that would have been covered under an employee benefit plan.

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