It is not a secret that California’s tech industry is struggling, at present. Waves of high-profile layoffs and a banking collapse have led to a simmering panic about job stability and about the integrity of the companies that employ so many Californians.
Partially in response to the ways in which very recent, high-profile layoff operations have been executed, California lawmakers have introduced a new bill that would strengthen protections for workers who are facing involuntary severance from their employment positions.
Stronger safeguards, applied to more workers
The goal of the bill is two-fold. First, it will compel employers to give workers an appropriate window of notice before mass layoffs can be initiated. Second, it will extend notice requirements to contract workers, who have not been traditionally safeguarded under either state or federal law in re: this issue.
The bill’s sponsor summarized the spirit of the proposed legislation as follows, “This bill is about protecting that workforce, from the engineers to the janitors, and making sure they’re treated fairly during a job transition. To be pro tech, we have to be pro tech-worker.”
While this bill is promising, there is no guarantee that this newly proposed legislation will become state law. Regardless of what happens, it will remain critically important for workers who are laid off to seek legal guidance before signing any severance paperwork. Depending on the details of any particular situation, a seemingly straightforward layoff scenario could actually be a wrongful termination. As such, an affected worker may have grounds upon which to file a legal claim against their employer.