California Labor Code 1400 defines such terms as employee, employer, and mass layoff as used in the WARN Act, which requires businesses with 75 or more people to provide notice if they plan to lay off 50 or more people. These definitions do not apply to situations involving seasonal employees or employees in the film or broadcasting industries as long as they knew their work was temporary.
The full text of the statute reads as follows:
1400 LC. The definitions set forth in this section shall govern the construction and meaning of the terms used in this chapter:
(a) “Covered establishment” means any industrial or commercial facility or part thereof that employs, or has employed within the preceding 12 months, 75 or more persons.
(b) “Employer” means any person, as defined by Section 18, who directly or indirectly owns and operates a covered establishment. A parent corporation is an employer as to any covered establishment directly owned and operated by its corporate subsidiary.
(c) “Layoff” means a separation from a position for lack of funds or lack of work.
(d) “Mass layoff” means a layoff during any 30–day period of 50 or more employees at a covered establishment.
(e) “Relocation” means the removal of all or substantially all of the industrial or commercial operations in a covered establishment to a different location 100 miles or more away.
(f) “Termination” means the cessation or substantial cessation of industrial or commercial operations in a covered establishment.
(g)(1) This chapter does not apply where the closing or layoff is the result of the completion of a particular project or undertaking of an employer subject to Wage Order 11, regulating the Broadcasting Industry, Wage Order 12, regulating the Motion Picture Industry, or Wage Order 16, regulating Certain On–Site Occupations in the Construction, Drilling, Logging and Mining Industries, of the Industrial Welfare Commission, and the employees were hired with the understanding that their employment was limited to the duration of that project or undertaking.
(2) This chapter does not apply to employees who are employed in seasonal employment where the employees were hired with the understanding that their employment was seasonal and temporary.
(h) “Employee” means a person employed by an employer for at least 6 months of the 12 months preceding the date on which notice is required.
California Labor Code 1400 provides legal definitions for key employment law terms applicable to California’s Labor Code’s Division 2, Part 4, Chapter 4: Relocations, Terminations, and Mass Layoffs.
Under LC 1400, employer means a business with an industrial or commercial facility that employs – or has employed within the preceding 12 months – 75 or more people. And an employer is considered relocated if a substantial part of the industrial or commercial operations has moved at least 100 miles away.1
A mass layoff refers to when an employer terminates 50 or more employees during a 30-day period. But LC 1400 does not apply to situations involving:
- Wage Order 11, regulating the Broadcasting Industry,
- Wage Order 12, regulating the Motion Picture Industry, or
- Wage Order 16, regulating Certain On–Site Occupations in the Construction, Drilling, Logging and Mining Industries, of the Industrial Welfare Commission2
Finally, employee means people who have been employed for six months of the 12 months prior to the date that WARN Act notice for a layoff is required. But it does not refer to seasonal employees hired with the understanding that their work was temporary.3
See our related articles on wrongful termination and final wages.
- Labor Code 1400 – Definitions.
- Same. See The Internat. Brotherhood of Boilermakers, etc. v. NASSCO Holdings Inc. (Cal. App. 4th Dist., 2017), 226 Cal. Rptr. 3d 206, 17 Cal. App. 5th 1105.
- Same. See also Sanchez v. AFA Foods, Inc. (In re AFA Inv., Inc.) (Bankr. D. Del. Dec. 14, 2012), 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 5764.