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.

When does an employer need to file a WARN?

In California, employers must file a WARN if they are a “covered establishment” with 75 or more employees (part-time or full-time). Employees must have been employed for at least 6 months of the 12-month period preceding the WARN date. Any plant closure or layoff that affects 50 or more workers within a 30-day period must be reported, 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) for more information.

How does an employer file a WARN?

An employer must first notify employees of the upcoming layoff. Then, the employer must submit a WARN to the local Workforce Development Board (San Diego Workforce Partnership), 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 here.

The contents of a WARN must include the following:

  • Company letterhead
  • Name/address of affected employment site
  • Name and phone number of company representative to contact
  • Whether the layoff/closure will be permanent or temporary
  • The expected separation date
  • 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)

Click here to view a sample WARN notice.