Did you know that there are laws in California when it comes to layoff notifications and back pay? The employee protections in California are more expansive than those under federal laws—an employer must pay an employee all wages owed, including vacation pay, if applicable, at the time of his or her termination.
Additionally, the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires that companies with 75 employees or more to provide 60 days’ notice when laying off 50 or more workers. If this does not occur, companies are required to pay up to 60 days’ compensation and benefits. If they do not, they could face civil penalties.
Recently, two former SpaceX employees filed a lawsuit against the company for violations of these labor laws. According to the Los Angeles Times, the lawsuit accuses the company of firing 200 to 400 employees in California without providing the 60-day notice the state labor law requires.
Lawyers allege that SpaceX was “disguising a mass layoff to avoid paying 60 days’ worth of pay and benefits to dismissed workers.”
When reached for comment by the Times, SpaceX representatives claimed that the company conducted a “headcount reduction” of less than 5 percent of its work force after an annual review cycle and “some rebalancing of resources.”
The lawsuit seeks back pay, plus interest. Additionally, plaintiffs are asking the Los Angeles County Superior Court to grant the case class action status.
Does My Employer Owe Me Back Pay?
Class action lawsuits are becoming an increasingly popular way for employees to seek back wages. Currently, there are lawsuits pending in the fast food and tech sectors that are making national headlines. Many of these cases involve wage and overtime infractions, and other violations of state labor laws. Through these lawsuits, a person can sue on behalf of a large group of individuals—in these cases, other employees.
Contact our attorneys today to make sure that your employer has not terminated you illegally. We will seek the compensation you are owed, if you have not been paid for the work you have performed.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys
Did You Know? It is illegal for an employer to withhold a paycheck for any reason. If this occurs, contact our attorneys immediately.