Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN) Information for Employers

California WARN Act

What is a WARN?

A WARN is a layoff notice from an employer. These notices provide protection to employees, their families and their communities by requiring 60 days’ notice of layoffs or plant closings, giving employees time to look for other work, file for unemployment or take care of other items that could be affected by their employment status. The Act is applicable to employers that employ, or have employed in the preceding 12 months, 75 or more full-time or part-time workers.

When does an employer need to file a WARN?

In California, employers must file a WARN if there are any plant closures or layoffs that impact 50 or more workers within a 30-day period, regardless of the size of the company as a whole. Notification of layoffs and plant closures must occur at least 60 days in advance, or be subject to fines and worker compensation. Visit the Employment Development Department (EDD) WARN website for more detailed information regarding WARNs as well as their FAQ page for answers to common questions.

Employers should review both the Federal WARN law and the California WARN law for a full understanding of notification requirements. 

How does an employer file a WARN?

An employer must first notify employees of the upcoming layoff at least 60 days in advance of the layoff. Then, the employer must submit a WARN to the local Workforce Development Board, local elected officials (chief elected officials of the city and county governments in which the employer is located) and EDD. For a list of WARN recipients in San Diego County, click on the sample WARN notice below.

If a layoff is occurring in San Diego County, an employer must provide notice to the San Diego Workforce Partnership, which is the local Workforce Development Board for the region. Notification or questions can be sent to the Workforce Partnership’s Business Services team at

Who do employers send the California WARN Act Notices to?

  • To Employees – the required notice should be sent via any reasonable method of delivery that ensures receipt by the affected employee (e.g., first class mail, personal delivery, email, etc.)
  • To the EDD – the required notice should be emailed to, and the email should include the following information:
    • The notice (as an attachment or within the body of the email)
    • Contact information for an employer representative in the event the EDD needs more information
  • To the Local Workforce Development Board and Chief Elected Officials – employers should contact their Local Workforce Development Areas (Local Areas) for specific assistance and contact information.
    • The San Diego Workforce Partnership is the Workforce Development Board for San Diego County. Submit WARN Notices via email to Peter Callstrom, President & CEO:

What must be included in a WARN?

The contents of a WARN must include the following:

  • Name of business and address of affected employment site
  • Name, phone number and email of company official to contact for more information
  • Whether the layoff/closure will be permanent or temporary
  • The expected separation date and anticipated schedule of subsequent separations
  • Job titles of affected workers, and the number of affected workers in each classification
  • Whether bumping rights exist
  • The name/contact information of union representation/union official (if applicable)
  • For multiple affected locations, a breakdown of the number of affected workers and their job titles by each location

Click here to view a sample WARN notice.