Twitter layoffs: WARN Act requires 60 days’ notice

The WARN Act requires large employers to give 60 days’ notice before laying off a large portion of their workforce.

Shortly after billionaire Elon Musk completed the purchase of Twitter, media reports said Twitter planned to lay off 3,700 employees, equivalent to half of the 7,400 employees nationwide. On November 3, five former Twitter employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the company alleging the company violated state and federal labor laws.

The topic goes viral on Twitter and Reddit specifically cited the WARN Act and stated that ongoing layoffs violate the law’s requirement that large companies notify employees 60 days in advance of mass layoffs.

While the courts will determine if Twitter violated the labor law as the lawsuit alleges, many commenters on various threads said they were not given such notice prior to their dismissal. their previous work and therefore doubt such federal law exists.


Does federal law require large companies like Twitter to notify employees 60 days in advance of mass layoffs?



This is the truth.

Yes, federal law requires large companies like Twitter to give 60 days notice before mass layoffs.


Both the federal government and the state of California have their own versions of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act (WARN), a law that requires some employers to notify their employees. employees before mass layoffs or factory closures.

The federal WARN Act requires certain companies to notify employees 60 days in advance if they are laid off as part of a law that defines a “mass layoff” or as a result of the closure of a facility.

A company is subject to federal law if it has 100 or more employees. If some employees work part-time, employers are only required to comply with the WARN Act if their employees work a total of the same weekly hours as 100 full-time employees would work. job. Employees must have worked for the company for at least six months in the past year to be eligible under the WARN Act.

For a mass layoff to qualify for the federal WARN Act, at least one of two conditions must be met within a 30-day period: the layoff affects at least 50 employees, and 33% of the company’s workforce or layoffs affecting at least 500 workers.

Twitter has 7,400 employees, and the company is said to have laid off 3,700 employees.

The WARN Act also goes into effect when 50 or more employees are laid off due to the closure of a company facility or an entire hiring site.

In any of these cases, employers must notify any affected employees, their representatives, local officials, and state agencies at least 60 calendar days in advance. when they have to be laid off. If layoffs are occurring as a result of a company sale, employees must still receive 60-day notice prior to their termination, and it is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that the employee receives such notice. even if the seller agrees to have an employee notify the buyer.

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California’s WARN Act is similar to federal law in that it requires companies to give employees 60 days notice before mass layoffs, but it applies to a broader group of companies with an expanded definition. about what constitutes “mass layoffs”. Companies with 75 or more full-time and part-time employees must comply with the state WARN Act, and layoffs must affect 50 or more employees, regardless of percentage of the company’s workforce. created by those employees.

The California Department of Employment Development says the federal WARN Act makes companies liable for reimbursement and benefits for the period in which they violated the act, but California’s WARN Act also hold the offending companies responsible for medical expenses incurred by employees who would have been covered under an employee benefit plan. California’s WARN Act also fines companies $500 a day for every day they violate this practice.

California, like all states except Montana, has “at will” relationships between employees and employers, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) says. , which means that an employer may terminate employment for any or no reason, as long as the reason for termination is not unlawful.

But the federal WARN Act is designed so that employers still have to give notice of mass layoffs, even at companies that have employee contracts at will. The WARN Act defines “loss of employment” in this case as termination of employment “other than discharge for cause, voluntary departure or retirement.”

That means a company must provide a reason for an employee’s termination if it wants to argue that it fired the employee instead of firing them.

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