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Will Meta’s Mass Layoff Violate Federal or State Laws?

December 21, 2022 | Employment Law

Meta is planning to begin a mass layoff. According to people familiar with the matter, the layoffs are expected to affect many thousands of employees as soon as Wednesday. This would be the first mass layoff in the company’s 18-year history. While Meta plans to lay off a smaller percent of employees than Twitter, Meta employs a far greater number of people so the total number affected will be much higher. It could be the largest reduction at a major technology corporation to date.


Meta is likely to be in violation of the federal and state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Acts.


The federal WARN Act applies to plant closings and mass layoffs. A mass layoff is defined as a reduction of 500 employees  at a single job site or 50 – 499 employees if the layoff equals 33% of the total workforce. A plant closing is the complete shutdown of a single facility which results in the loss of employment for 50 or more full time employees during a continuous 30-day period.


WARN also applies to layoffs and plant closings that occur over the course of 90 days to prevent employers attempting to work around the intent of the WARN Act.


California’s Mini-WARN Act applies to plant closings, relocations and mass layoffs. Mass layoffs are defined as job loss for 50+ employees in a 30-day period. The Mini-WARN Act applies to plants, industrial or commercial facilities with 75+ employees and the relocation of such plants over 100 miles away.


Employees affected by plant closings, relocations or layoffs covered by WARN or California’s Mini-WARN Act are entitled to 60 day advance notice. Union members may not receive individual notice as the employer is required to notify the union bargaining reps who are expected to notify the affected employees.


California employers may be liable for the balance of 60 days pay for each laid off employee, legal fees, a penalty up to $500 for each day the employer is in violation of the WARN Act.


If you are an employee that has been laid off as part of a mass reduction at Meta, Twitter or any company that employs over 500 people, contact our experienced attorneys for a free consultation and let us aggressively represent your claim.