Apr 3, 2024

Understanding Your Rights: What Restaurant Workers Should Know About the WARN Act

Understanding Your Rights: What Restaurant Workers Should Know About the WARN Act

In the fast-paced world of restaurants, sudden closures or mass layoffs can leave workers uncertain. It's crucial for restaurant employees to be aware of their rights under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) and its state equivalents. Here's what you need to know:


Notice Requirements

The WARN Act mandates that employers provide written notice at least 60 days before implementing a "plant closing" or a "mass layoff." If you're facing termination or a significant reduction in hours, your employer should inform you well in advance.


Single-Site Aggregation

Multiple restaurant locations owned by the same employer may be aggregated to form a single site of employment under certain conditions. This means that terminations at one location could affect workers at others, so stay informed about the status of all locations within your company.


Operating Unit Closures

Even if the restaurant you work at is part of a larger establishment like a hotel or sports venue, its closure could still trigger WARN Act requirements. Understanding the Act's provisions regarding operating unit closures is essential to protect your rights.


California WARN Act

In California, the WARN Act applies to establishments with as few as 75 employees and can be triggered by temporary closures or substantial reductions in operations. Be aware of your rights under state law, especially if you work in California.


Temporary Closures

Temporary closures for renovations or other reasons can impact workers, potentially triggering the WARN Act if furloughed employees exceed a certain duration. Stay informed about the length and reasons for any temporary closures affecting your employment.


Seasonal Considerations

If you work at a seasonal restaurant, be mindful of your employment status and whether you're informed of any seasonal layoffs. Understand the exemptions based on prior employment history to assess your eligibility for WARN Act protections.


Seek Legal Guidance

If you believe your rights under the WARN Act have been violated, don't hesitate to seek legal advice. Morgan & Morgan’s Employment Law Group can provide guidance on your options and help you navigate the complexities of labor laws. Contact Us now or complete a no-obligation case review today.