What are my options if my job closed down but they did not give any written notice?

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What are my options if my job closed down but they did not give any written notice?

The hotel where I worked for 16 years finally closed down. They had started laying off employees little by little, I was one if the last to stay. I got my last paycheck last week and my accumulated vacation pay incomplete. No one was give written notice of layoff. The owner asked me work to work at their house 1 day last week, which was included in final paycheck. They asked if I could work 1 day this week, if I refuse can they say I am the one that doesn’t want to work? I cannot survive working 1 day a week. All I want is to file for unemployment but I do not know where to go. Also, they did not compensate any of the employees. What can I do? How can I apply for unemployment benefits?

Asked on February 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In CA, if an conducts a mass layoff, cuts a significant number of jobs or closes a facility, workers must be given advance notice. If their company fails to give proper notice, they are entitled to damages. Under state law, employers are covered if they own an industrial or commercial facility that employs at least 75 employees. If this is not appicable to your situation, then the questions become: did failing to notify you of the close violate the terms of an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, or did it in some way constitute legally actionable discrimination? If not, then it was legal. The fact is that in an "at will" work arrangement, an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes when to close and who to notify. In fact an employee can be laid off (or fired) for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. As for your vacation pay, unless otherwise stipulated (i.e. collective bargaining agreemt or employment contract), upon termination all earned and unused vacation must be paid at the employee's final rate of pay. If you have any further questions regarding any of this, you can contact the Department of Industrial Relations.


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