(NEXSTAR) – Between tons of tech layoffs and major retailers closing up shop, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little uneasy in terms of job security. In many cases, a California labor law actually allows you to see which employers are planning mass layoffs or branch closures.
It’s thanks in part to a federal law called the WARN Act, which stands for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Essentially, the law requires large employers to give 60 days of advanced notice when they are cutting a large number of jobs.
California has its own WARN Act that goes even further and requires even medium-sized businesses or nonprofits to comply. The state law applies to any organization that has employed at least 75 people, part-time or full-time, in the past 12 months.
Those employers are required to issue a notice when they are (1) laying off 50 or more employees in a 30-day period, (2) closing down a plant, regardless of the number of employees affected, or (3) relocating by more than 100 miles.
For-profit and non-profit companies are covered by the law, but government jobs are not. (There are other exceptions and situational factors, many of which are covered in a Department of Labor FAQ or on the California Employment Development Department website.)
Many (but not all) states make filed WARN notices publicly available online. California’s database is easy to download and search through.
The list is updated every Tuesday and Thursday, according to the EDD.
Recent notices include a Safeway grocery store closing in San Francisco, permanent layoffs at multi-level marketing company Herbalife in Los Angeles County, and 953 jobs lost at a Walmart in San Bernardino County. A few tech companies have also filed notices in the past couple months, including Twitch in San Francisco and Microsoft.
For those stressed about their job, remember the nature of the WARN Act requires the company to inform employees who may be affected. So if your job is at risk in one of the mass layoffs or closures described by the law, you should already have been notified before finding the information online.
The latest jobless claims numbers, published Thursday, show 13,000 more people applied for unemployment benefits in the last week of April when compared to the week before. Overall, about 1.8 million people were collecting unemployment in the week ending on April 22.
The unemployment rate was still quite low last month at 3.5%.