Reductions in Force and Plant Closings
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Baker & McKenzie
[Excerpt] This chapter summarizes the provisions of federal and California law that are implicated by reductions in force (RIFs), plant closings, and plant relocations. Two statutes that come into play under such circumstances are the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) (29 USC §§2101–2109) and the California-specific mass layoff provisions of Lab C §§1400–1408. See §§18.20–18.44. If the employer’s workforce is organized, provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (29 USC §§141–187) are relevant. See §§18.57–18.74. If the workforce reduction or plant closing is necessitated by the employer’s failing financial health, bankruptcy issues must be considered. See §§18.75–18.84. Finally, a RIF often brings in its wake employee claims of discrimination, particularly age discrimination. Senior members of the workforce may be protected by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) (Pub L 101–433, 104 Stat 978). See §§18.3–18.10. In preparing for and dealing with litigation following a RIF, plant closing, or plant relocation, the employer should give each of these subjects careful consideration.
Baker & McKenzie; plant closings; relocations; litigation; worker rights; public policy
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