9th Cir. WARN Case Goes Against Employer, In Pretty Much Every Way Possible
by Michael Fox
There are not that many WARN cases that go to trial. No doubt the employer wishes Childress v. Darby Lumber, Inc. (9th Cir. 2/6/04) [pdf] had been one of them. Unfortunately, it did and the employer lost on the issue of joint employer and the defenses of good faith, business circumstance's and faltering business. The good faith defense for certain, and probably the faltering business, exception were lost because the employer had no clue that the WARN act existed, not that it misjudged the proper application. The employer also lost on attorneys fees, as the appeals court upheld an award of over $120,000 whereas the actual damages were only slightly more than $60,000. Ouch.