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Tech layoffs and the WARN Act

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2022 | Employment Litigation |

After years of rapid growth, California’s tech industry seems to have started contracting in recent months.

According to one source, there have been more than 140,000 people put out of work at U.S. tech companies so far in 2022. Some of these layoffs have occurred at the biggest names in the industry, including Meta and Amazon, which fired more than 10,000 workers each this year.

Most notable among these big names was Twitter, whose new management woes have garnered breathless attention from the news media. Twitter abruptly fired 3,700 employees this fall, or half its total workforce.

Wrongful termination and other claims

With all these job terminations comes the possibility of employment litigation. In fact, some employment law attorneys who represent workers in wrongful termination cases say that their offices have been swamped with newly fired tech workers who are considering filing legal claims against their former employers.

One federal law that comes up in some of these cases is known as the WARN Act. Passed in 1988, the act gives protection to certain types of employees involved in mass layoffs. Those who are covered under the act must receive 60 days notice before they can be fired.

Under the act, a mass layoff is one in which the employer terminates at least 33% of the workforce at one site, or at least 500 workers at one site. It can also apply to the closing of a facility if it involves the termination of 50 or more jobs.

Generally, the act applies only to layoffs at one large location, such as a factory or corporate headquarters where there are at least 100 employees. The strongest protections of the act apply to full-time employees, but the act also has protections for employees who work as little as 20 hours a week.

Defending against wrongful termination claims

It isn’t easy to defend against wrongful termination claims, whether they involve the WARN Act or other worker protections, but it can be done. Experienced employment law attorneys help employers protect their companies’ reputations and their bottom lines.



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