International Bhd. of Boilermakers, et al. v. NASSCO Holdings Inc., 17 Cal. App. 5th 1105 (2017)

The union and several employees sued the employer NASSCO, alleging it had violated the California WARN Act (Cal. Lab. Code § 1400, et seq.) by not providing at least 60 days’ advance notice to approximately 90 employees who were ordered not to return to work for four or five weeks. The employer’s defense was that Cal-WARN is inapplicable because this was a “temporary furlough” and not a “mass layoff” as defined in the statute. The trial court determined that Cal-WARN does apply to a temporary layoff and entered judgment in plaintiffs’ favor, awarding the employees $211,405 in backpay and pension benefits. No statutory penalties were awarded because the employer had acted in good faith inasmuch as the legal issues were “unsettled.” The Court of Appeal affirmed.