Holiday Terminations and Layoffs: Know Your Legal Rights

Lisa BabiarzEmployment Law, News

Employment lawyers across the country see it day in and day out. Pre and post-holiday layoffs have become far too common.

Retail sector employers are notorious for cutting jobs after Christmas. Restaurant and hotel worker jobs are often tanked. And in November 2022 alone, tech companies laid off hundreds of thousands of workers, with companies like Microsoft, Tesla, and Twitter giving the axe to many of their employees.

Regardless of the sector you’re in, it is important to know your employment law rights as a worker. If you’re facing a holiday termination or layoff, you may be considering hiring an employment attorney. This is a good idea, as an employment law attorney can carefully examine your case and see if you have any recourse.

The best way to do this is to seek out a Geneva or Auburn, NY, labor law attorney. If you’re in Ithaca or Pen Yan, NY, an employment law attorney in your area will also be helpful.

Once you’ve contacted an employment attorney for a free consultation, you’ll better understand your legal rights. Until then, you can read up on employment law yourself.

Legal Protections: NY Employment Law

If you’re a worker in Ithaca, Pen Yan, Geneva, Auburn, NY, or a surrounding area, you must be aware of your employment law rights. If you’ve been let go in a mass layoff, you may have rights under what is known as the federal WARN Act or New York State’s mini-WARN Act.

Not part of a mass layoff? You may still have options if you’ve been terminated or laid off for a discriminatory reason.


The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act protects workers affected by a plant closing and/or mass layoff. To qualify, you must be a part of one of the Employment lawyers in Geneva, Auburn, Ithaca and Syracuse New York following:

  • The shutdown of an entire plant or employment site with at least 25 workers being affected
  • A mass layoff where 25+ employees (33% of the workforce) become unemployed OR a mass layoff where 250+ employees become unemployed (even if less than 33%.)

According to the best New Your state employment lawyers, another situation that is protected through employment law occurs when any business enterprise lays off 50 or more employees. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to government entities. It does, however, apply to non-profits.

What Are My Employment Law Rights?

The New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires a few things from businesses that fit the scenarios mentioned above. Covered businesses must:

  • Give at least 90 days of notice to employees

What happens if this doesn’t happen?

If a business does not provide notice to employees, employment law holds that it may be required to do the following:

  • Pay back wages
  • Provide back benefits to workers

It’s important to note that the WARN Act doesn’t apply in cases of physical calamity, acts of terrorism, or war. Since physical calamity is such a vague term, employment lawyers are often needed to determine

Next Steps

If you think you’ve been the victim of an unfair layoff or termination around the holiday (or any other time,) contact a labor law attorney today. Employment law attorneys can assess your situation and develop a game plan.

Every employment attorney at Littman & Babiarz law office has detailed knowledge of national and state labor laws. Our central NY attorneys are ready to assist if you need help with your worker’s compensation case in or around Geneva, Auburn, Pen Yan, or Ithaca, NY.