Topic: "WARN Act" | Main
WARN Act no help for airport security screeners
July 24, 2006 by Ross Runkel at LawMemo
When the federal government took over airport security screening, formerly done by private companies, a lot of employees got laid off.
Employees were laid off without getting a 60-day WARNing notice. So they sued the private employer claiming a violation of the WARN Act.
The 9th Circuit holds that the WARN Act does not apply here. Deveraturda v. Globe Aviation Security (9th Cir 07/24/2006).
Why? Because the WARN Act applies only when an employer orders a plant closing or mass layoff. In this case, the layoff was caused by the federal government and not by the private employer.
This seems to be the correct interpretation of the WARN Act, which says: "An employer shall not order a plant closing or mass layoff until the end of a 60-day period" etc. etc.
WARN Act - California style
December 14, 2005 by Ross Runkel at LawMemo
California Labor Code Section 1401, subdivision (a), of the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (California WARN Act) forbids an employer from ordering a "mass layoff" unless the employer gives 60 days notice to affected employees and certain government entities. The court framed the primary issue on appeal as "whether there has been a 'mass layoff' within the meaning of the California WARN Act where employees are transferred from one employer to another for whom they perform the same work at the same rates of pay and with whom they retain the same benefits."
The court concluded that the answer to the question presented is "no." The term "layoff" is defined under the Act as "a separation from a position for lack of funds or lack of work" (Section 1400, subdivision (c)). The court determined that this definition is ambiguous, and concluded that "[u]nder the Legislature’s chosen definition of 'layoff,' the determining factor is whether the employee has been separated from 'a position,' not whether the employee is separated from an 'employer.'" The court noted that "[w]e have found no California case construing the terms of the California WARN Act" and that "[l]egal commentary and other secondary authority on the statute are … in short supply."
For a longer discussion: New Decision Finds California WARN Act Does Not Apply To Seamless Transfer Of Employees To Same Positions With New Employer from Sheppard Mullin's Labor & Employment Law Blog.
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