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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) Frequently Asked Questions

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Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the WARN Act. If you have more specific questions that you would like answered, please contact us.

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Media inquiries should be directed to the EDD Communications Office at 916-654-9029, or by e-mail at EDDMediaInquiries@edd.ca.gov. For non-media inquiries or general questions about WARN, contact the California WARN Act Coordinator by e-mail at WARNNotice@edd.ca.gov.

Contact information for the Chief Elected Official(s) who receives WARN notices is available on the EDD’s website at Local Workforce Development Area Administrators Listing by County.  The Local Workforce Development Areas (Local Areas) are listed by county including geographical areas served.

California labor market data is available on the EDD’s Labor Market Information Division (LMID) web page. The EDD’s LMID collects and publishes employment, unemployment statistics, and other labor market data for the state and counties of California. 

Requests for additional labor market services or questions should be addressed to the EDD, LMID.  Visit the Contact LMI page for detailed contact information.

The WARN Report is updated on the 10th and 25th of each month. If these dates fall on a weekend or holiday, then the report is updated and published the following business day.

California retention laws require the EDD to store records for up to five years. Currently, the Employment Development Department publishes all available WARN Reports under the Listing of Filed WARN Notices section of the EDD’s WARN web page.

While the 60-day period is the minimum for providing an advanced notice to employees under WARN law, employers can still voluntarily notify employees with more time in advance. 

Source: 20 CFR 639.2, Page 351

The enforcement of the WARN law and labor law violations should be directed to the California Department of Industrial Relations.  The EDD only processes California WARN notices received and does not provide legal advice nor does it enforce labor law, including WARN law violations.

A company with a “covered establishment” that employs 75 employees or more is required to file a WARN notice if it lays-off 50 or more employees during any 30-day period.

Source: California Labor Code, Section 1400

Employers must give a WARN notice at least 60 calendar days prior to any planned plant closing or mass layoff. When all employees are not terminated on the same date, the date of the first individual termination within the statutory 30-day or 90-day period triggers the 60-day notice requirement. A worker’s last day of employment is considered the date of that worker’s layoff.

Source: 20 CFR 639.5(a), Page 354

Federal WARN

Consultant or contract employees who have a separate employment relationship with another employer and are paid by that other employer, or who are self-employed, are not “affected employees” of the business to which they are assigned.
Source: 20 CFR 639.3(e), Page 352

Employees who are employed for an average of fewer than 20 hours per week or who has been employed for fewer than 6 of the 12 months preceding the date on which notice is required, including workers who work full-time are classified as part-time or seasonal workers. Part-time workers do not count when determining whether there has been a plant closing or mass layoff but they are entitled to receive WARN notice if there is one.
Sources: 20 CFR 639.3(h) Page 353 & Department of Labor WARN Employer’s Guide, Page 4

California WARN

Employees who have worked at least 6 months of the 12 months preceding the date on which WARN notice is required are counted in determining if there is a mass layoff during any 30-day period of 50 or more employees at a covered establishment.
Source: California Labor Code, Section 1400(d)&(h)

The single site of employment for workers whose primary duties require travel from point to point, who are out stationed, or whose primary duties involve work outside any of the employer’s regular employment sites (e.g., railroad workers, bus drivers, salespersons) is one of the following:

  • Location from which the employee is assigned work
  • Location to which the employee reports
  • Location assigned to employee as their home base

Sources: 20 CFR 639.3(i)(6), Page 353 & Department of Labor WARN Employer’s Guide, Page 36.

The employer is required to provide a WARN notice to any affected employees, the Employment Development Department, Local Workforce Investment Board, Chief elected official of each city and County government in which the termination, relocation, or mass layoff occurs.

Local Workforce Development Areas (Local Areas) can assist in locating information about how to contact the chief elected officials in the communities affected by the planned layoff or closure.

Source: California Labor Code, Section 1401.