Have-You-Been-a-Victim-of-a-Violation-Against-the-WARN-Act.jpg (2149×1159)If you have lost your job or experienced significantly reduced hours as part of a mass lay-off or plant closing without at least 60 days forward notice your employer may have violated the WARN Act.

The Suddenly Jobless Employees of ITT Tech

The recent closing of the ITT Tech for-profit school and subsequent employee lawsuit has brought to light a long-standing problem involving an employer’s duty to give forward warning before a mass layoff. As of August 25, 2017 the federal government declared that federal student loans could not be applied to ITT tuitions and as a result, the company decided to close its doors for good. However, they did not spend time preparing for this close in a stately and dignified fashion. Instead, they promptly let go all their employees, threw up their hands, and claimed ‘unforseen circumstances’. This dumped more than 8,000 people into unemployment without so much as an apology much less time to build their resumes and find new job security with a more responsible company. These employees have since banded together to file a lawsuit against the disgraced school on the grounds that they deserved a 60 day notice before the company closed its doors.

What is the WARN Act?

The WARN Act is an acronym for Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification. It requires any company with more than 100 employees performing a mass layoff or closing a location to give at least 60 days notice to both their employees and the local government before terminating or significantly reducing employment. For the employees, this provides them the chance to seek new work and/or training for a new position in order to avoid the unnecessary hardship of faultless sudden termination. This notice is equally important to local governments who will soon find themselves paying unemployment wages to 50 to 500+ new people who will be out of work.

What Qualifies As a WARN Act Violation?

First, a company must have more than 100 employees working more than 20 hour a week for more than 6 months of the last fiscal year. Next, the company must have laid off either more than 500 employees or 50 or more employees if they make up at least a third of the company’s workforce. They must also fulfill WARN requirements when closing a plant (business location) with 50 or more employees without sufficient notice. While dropping this many employees into unemployment is allowed if their project or location was classified as temporary or ‘until-completion’, companies are not allowed to label an ongoing project ‘temporary’ after the fact just to avoid WARN requirements.

What Qualifies as a Layoff?

Most people understand being laid off as the equivalent of a faultless firing, in which you are suddenly out of work through no fault of your own, however, the WARN act also protects employees who find themselves in somewhat more conditional loss of employment. For instance, if your employer intends to bring back a large number or location-worth of employees after 30 days or more, they have been officially laid off and qualify for a WARN act notification. Likewise, if your employer reduces everyone’s hours to 50% or less of your previous monthly time for any 6-month period, they are required to give you the 60 days warning.

Holding Employers Responsible

If your employer has left you and many of your coworkers out in the wind without proper notice, you don’t have to let them get away with it. Whether they’re stringing you along with vague promises of future work, have cut your hours to unsurvivable minimums, or have let you go completely, you can band together with your fellow victims and hold them accountable as violators of the WARN Act. Here at Aiman-Smith & Marcy, we specialize in class-action suits, defending everyday citizens against the brazen mistreatment of large corporations. Whether you have found yourself in this situation or know someone who has, contact us today and we’ll do our best to get you the compensation you deserve.

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Lisseth Bayona


Education and Background

I am a Los Angeles native and daughter of Salvadorian immigrants. From an early age, my parents instilled the value of hard work and education in me and my two siblings. Their perseverance enabled each of us to graduate from college and earn professional degrees.

My interest and commitment to workers’ rights have roots in my parents’ experiences as undocumented workers in Los Angeles. Witnessing the challenges they faced inspired me to pursue a career where I can help individuals confronted with similar struggles. To help someone in those moments is very satisfying. I love connecting with people and learning about their stories. I believe that dignity in the workplace is a right of all workers, not a convenience or privilege reserved for employees of a certain race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Legal Experience

I received my J.D. from the University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law. While there, I served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Patrick J. Walsh of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, where I drafted a criminal judicial opinion. Also, while at Gould, I served as an extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. As a Criminal Division Extern, I had the opportunity to work closely with a trial team of Assistant U.S. Attorneys on a money laundering case which further sparked my interest in litigation.

Personal Interests

In my free time, I enjoy urban vegetable gardening, traveling, and spending time with my nephew and niece. I also love to spend time at San Onofre Beach learning to surf, although admittedly, I am not very good.



Hallie L. Von Rock

Attorney (SBN 233152)

Education and Background

I moved to the Bay Area from Washington after graduating high school. I had been accepted to UC Berkeley through a program where I could defer for two years while getting my California residency and attending community college, which was significant since I was paying for college on my own. I began working for Randall Aiman-Smith and Reed Marcy in 1996 as an office manager while taking night classes. My first foray into the legal world was soon after starting at the firm when I was ready to transfer to UC Berkeley. Rather than accepting my resident status, the Board of Regents took the position that California residency required a student to be in California “two calendar years.” Randall and Reed took up my case with the same verve as they helped their actual clients and I got the chance to comb through the UC Berkeley library to read their codes and regulations to support my position. In that experience, I learned what is was like to feel helpless against a big organization and then to have dedicated attorneys in my corner to take up my cause.

After a break to pursue my major in art history, I went to UC Hastings College of Law and continued working with Randall and Reed. Having worked together now for over 25 years, we have a unique ability to work collaboratively and finish each other’s sentences. I have strived throughout my career to make a difference in the lives of our clients. At the end of the day, if I am helping someone to get compensation for losses they suffered, then I know that all the work put into a case has been worth it.

Legal Experience

I have extensive experience in civil litigation and class action cases, including conducting discovery and depositions, calculating damages analysis, preparing motions for certification, writing appellate documents, and overseeing claims administration. We have handled several class actions against retailers where plaintiffs claimed they were forced to purchase clothing to wear to work and were not compensated for these purchases, including against Abercrombie & Fitch, Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, Uniqlo, Dollar Tree, and Ross. Recently, I was trial counsel in a defamation claim against Bank of America on behalf of a former employee who claimed the Bank blacklisted her with future employers. The jury found Bank of America liable, including for punitive damages.

Personal Interests

Aiman-Smith & Marcy has sponsored me in the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon. When I race, I often wear a “Rockstar Ronan” shirt to support research for childhood cancer through The Ronan Thompson Foundation.


University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1999

Hastings College of the Law, University of California, J.D., 2004

Randall Aiman-Smith

Abogado (SBN 124599)

Aiman-Smith & Marcy. Oakland consumer fraud attorneys.

Educación y antecedentes

Fui afortunado. A pesar de no haber terminado la escuela secundaria o la universidad, pude -aunque con mucho trabajo- ser admitido y sobresalir en una de las mejores escuelas de derecho del país: La Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Berkeley. Mientras estuve allí, tuve el privilegio de ser editor de la California Law Review y miembro del Moot Court Board, asesorando en la redacción de escritos y en la defensa de apelaciones a otros estudiantes. Después de salir de la escuela de derecho, en mis primeros años de práctica, enseñé la escritura legal y la defensa de apelación en la Universidad de California, Hastings College of the Law. También, a lo largo de los años, he sido presentador en eventos de educación legal continua.

Experiencia legal

He sido abogado durante 35 años. He dedicado mi práctica exclusivamente a representar a empleados, consumidores e inversores en los tribunales estatales y federales de primera instancia y en los tribunales de apelación. Me gusta ir a los tribunales por mis clientes y he llevado muchos casos con jurado en los tribunales estatales y federales.

¿Ejemplos? En 2010, fui la abogada principal, junto con los otros abogados del bufete, en el caso Williams v. Union Pacific Railroad donde, después de cuatro años de preparación, el bufete obtuvo un veredicto del jurado de 1.670.000 dólares para una empleada afroamericana. En Rivero v. Surdyka, fui el abogado principal en el juicio y la apelación de un caso de derechos civiles que duró 15 años, incluyendo un juicio completo y tres apelaciones al Noveno Circuito, concluyendo finalmente con una sentencia para los demandantes de más de 2.300.000 dólares. Estos casos ilustran el lema del bufete: compromiso – resultados. Hay que comprometerse con un caso, a veces durante mucho tiempo, para obtener el resultado que el cliente merece.

No siempre ganamos en el juicio. Cuando eso ocurre, el compromiso significa llevar el caso al siguiente nivel y recurrirlo. En el caso Rivero, antes mencionado, eso fue lo que ocurrió: el tribunal desestimó el caso -habíamos perdido- pero apelamos y conseguimos una victoria para nuestros clientes que mantuvimos a través de dos apelaciones más. Desde entonces, el bufete ha conseguido muchas victorias en apelación que reivindican los derechos de los empleados y los consumidores.

A lo largo de los años he sido abogado de los demandantes en numerosos casos individuales y acciones colectivas. Puede sonar cursi, o difícil de creer, pero después de todo este tiempo, y después de todas las grandes experiencias que he tenido, mi parte favorita de ser abogado es cuando consigo dar un cheque a mi cliente.



Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de California, Berkeley, J.D., 1986