It’s hard for anyone to forget the chaos of March 2020. The initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to all kinds of panic, including mass layoffs from thousands of companies and near-record unemployment. According to federal law, certain employers are required to provide 60 days advance notice to
Articles Discussing General Issues Under WARN.
In the first ruling from a federal appellate court examining COVID-19–related layoffs and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Easom v. US Well Services, Inc., No. 21-20202 (June 15, 2022), that a mass layoff resulting in part from the economic
Last week, two former Tesla employees filed a class-action lawsuit against Tesla, accusing the electric automaker of laying off “thousands” of workers without issuing the federally required notice.
“Zero Days Advance Notice” For Layoffs
Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), employers are required to provide
Is the COVID-19 pandemic a “natural disaster” for purposes of the notice exception of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act?
Remote work has exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with some employers hiring employees to work remotely anywhere in the United States. With the recent economic downturn, layoffs are beginning to occur, and for the first time a significant number of remote employees may be included in layoffs. Layoffs of
In the first such decision from a federal appellate court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled the COVID-19 pandemic is not a “natural disaster” that exempts employers from providing advance notice of mass layoffs and plant closures under the WARN Act. The court also
Last month, online used-car retailer Carvana cut 12% of its workforce in a mass layoff of 2,500 employees. Many of the impacted workers were let go via Zoom, recalling an incident from last December during which Better.com fired over 900 employees in similar fashion.
Aftermath of the Mass Layoff
Since March 2020, companies have faced unique challenges in deciding how to manage cohorts of employees under shifting global forces. Some major companies, struggling to keep up with supply-chain issues and economic downturns, chose to lay off mass numbers of their workers. Other businesses adapted to the new pandemic-posed hurdles
To say that COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges to employers would certainly be an understatement. One of the changes and challenges that has entered the workforce is the proliferation of work-from-home arrangements. With remote workers, employers have had to alter the ways they recruit, pay, manage, and even discharge employees.
A federal contractor that could not secure extended financing and suddenly laid off its workers when it could not make payroll was not a covered “employer” under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has held. Schmidt v. FCI Enters. LLC, Nos. 19-02384, 20-01076 (June 24, 2021).
Emily Borna discusses the prospective litigation implications of class action claims brought under the WARN Act regarding notice requirements for layoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic in “Covid as Natural Disaster? Courts to Decide WARN Act Defense,” published by Bloomberg Law.
Beginning with the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, employers were left with little choice but to make tough decisions about the size and composition of their workforce. In many cases, employers were forced to shutter operations entirely.
Dear Littler: We are planning a layoff that will involve many of our employees who are working remotely during the pandemic. How do we decide who works at a particular location for WARN counting purposes?
—Counting in Columbus
It is an entrepreneur’s nightmare. The company you struggled to create goes out of business due to a lack of financing. As the company goes under, the employees sue. Out of money, the company does not defend itself in court and a multi-million dollar default judgment gets entered against it. When the company can’t pay the judgment, the former employees sue you individually. They argue that the company’s failure to pay the “back pay” judgment constitutes a violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act, M.G.L. c. 149, § 148, which imposes individual liability on certain corporate officers. The employees now seek to hold you individually liable for the whole judgment, plus treble damages and attorneys’ fees.
A California Court of Appeals has held that temporary furloughs trigger notice obligations under the California Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (CA-WARN). Specifically, the appellate court in The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers v. NASSCO Holdings Inc., decided that employees were entitled to 60 days’ notice of termination under CA-WARN after the employer temporarily furloughed more than 50 employees within a 30-day period at a single worksite in California.1