Cameron Hansen
Austin/Houston Employment Trial Lawyer Cameron Hansen

As a plaintiff’s employment lawyer in Austin, TX, I often encounter clients who have been affected by mass layoffs. Understanding your rights and the requirements employers must follow can be crucial during these challenging times. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the complexities of mass layoffs under the law.

 What Constitutes a Mass Layoff?

A mass layoff refers to the termination of a significant number of employees by an employer within a short period. The criteria for what constitutes a mass layoff can vary depending on the legal framework applied, but typically, it involves:

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2101, et seq.: This federal law passed into law in 1988 requires employers with 100 or more employees to provide 60 days’ notice in advance of plant closings or mass layoffs. A mass layoff under the WARN Act is defined as a reduction in force that:

  – Affects 50 or more employees at a single employment site; or

  – Involves at least one-third of the workforce at the site, provided at least 50 employees are affected.

Key Requirements Under the WARN Act

1. Notice Period: Employers must give affected employees 60 days’ written notice before the layoff occurs. This notice should include:

   – The expected date of the layoff and whether it will be permanent or temporary.

   – Information on any available assistance or benefits.

   – Contact information for a company representative who can provide further details.

2. Exceptions to the Notice Requirement:

   – Faltering Company: If the employer is actively seeking capital or business to avoid the layoff and believes that giving notice would jeopardize those efforts.

   – Unforeseeable Business Circumstances: If the layoff is caused by sudden, unexpected conditions outside the employer’s control (e.g., natural disasters, sudden market downturns).

   – Natural Disasters: If the layoff is a direct result of a natural disaster.

3. Penalties for Non-Compliance:

   – Employers who fail to provide the required notice may be liable for back pay and benefits for the period of the violation, up to 60 days. They may also face civil penalties of up to $500 per day.

What Should Affected Employees Do?

1. Review the Notice: Carefully review any layoff notice provided by your employer to understand the specifics, including the timeline and available resources.

2. Seek Legal Advice: If you believe your employer did not comply with the WARN Act requirements, reach out to Rob Wiley P.C. to consult with an employment lawyer to explore your options. You may be entitled to compensation for the lack of proper notice.

3. Document Everything: Keep records of all communications, notices, and other relevant documentation related to the layoff. This information can be critical if you need to pursue legal action.

4. Explore Assistance Programs: Look into state and federal assistance programs, such as unemployment benefits and retraining opportunities, to help ease the transition.


Mass layoffs can be devastating, but knowing your rights under the law can help you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family. If you find yourself facing a mass layoff in Austin or elsewhere in Texas, don’t hesitate to reach out for legal assistance. Our office is dedicated to helping employees understand their rights and obtain the justice they deserve.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today. We’re here to help you navigate this challenging time with the support and expertise you need.

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Photo of Cameron Hansen Cameron Hansen
  1. What do you like most about being an employment lawyer?

I chose to practice law representing employees because I feel that my work makes a tangible difference in the lives of my clients and their loved ones. When clients come to me, they

  1. What do you like most about being an employment lawyer?

I chose to practice law representing employees because I feel that my work makes a tangible difference in the lives of my clients and their loved ones. When clients come to me, they are often in a situation they had never imaged they would face, with uncertain financial and professional futures as well as broken trust and respect. It gives me great fulfillment to lend a helping hand to those individuals and empower them to move on to the next stage of their working life with dignity and reassurance.

2. What is the most important issue to you of being an advocate?

The most significant aspect of advocating for my clients, to me, is listening. I was not present for the events that lead my client to seek me out, nor can I tell them exactly what would be the best outcome going forward for them, personally. For that reason, every aspect of representation for me begins with listening to my clients experiences, concerns, and goals so that I can make the best case for the outcome that would help them most.

  1. What would you say to HR of a company about how to treat employees?

If I was speaking to an HR professional, I would tell them that the most important characteristic when working with employees is cooperation. If an employee can work in a stable and supportive working environment, not only will they be personally fulfilled, but will be better able to perform their work for the Company. Everyone wins!

4. What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is a Döner Kebab, which is similar to a Greek Gyro with a Turkish/German influence.

5. What’s the best part of living in (current city)?

The best part of living in Austin is the vibrant mix of people, cultures, and activities. Not only is it an urban city with live music and shows, but it is also a southern city with great bbq and line dancing, and easy access to hikes, swims and camping.

6. Why did you start practicing labor and employment law?

Having grown up going to school on a U.S. Air Force Base in Germany, I was lucky enough to exposed to a vasty different employment environment from that in the States. There, I often spoke with my neighbor, the equivalent of a union representative at the local Audi factor, about his representation of line-workers to Audi’s management. Over time, I gained a perspective which values cooperation, accountability and respect in the work place that not only encourages employees more sustainable work, but a more powerful workplace generally. Through my work on behalf of employees now, I hope to foster that attitude toward employers’ relationships with their workers in America as well.

7.     What do you do when you’re not practicing law?

When I’m not practicing law, I enjoy being outdoors! I spend a lot of time at dog parks and trails with my Pitbull-mix, Dewey. I also play on several recreational soccer teams and enjoy biking around Austin’s trails. When the weather is right, I also enjoy camping, hiking and swimming.

8.     What’s your favorite legal movie

A Few Good Men

9.     Who’s your favorite judge?

My favorite Judge is the one that reads all the briefs and keeps an open mind!