February 22, 2024
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Amgen lays off another 450 workers


Amgen’s new research and development facility in San Francisco. (courtesy photo)

For the second time this year, Amgen is cutting hundreds of jobs in an effort to curtail expenses in the face of an uncertain economy.

Amgen, the largest employer in Ventura County, announced on March 16 that it would be laying off 450 workers, which equates to 2% of its current workforce. In a statement to the Business Times, the company made these changes to “realign our expense base in the face of intensifying pressure on drug prices and high levels of inflation so that we can continue to deliver value for our patients, staff and shareholders.”

Megan Fox, the director of corporate affairs at Amgen, confirmed that less than 5% of the roles in the Thousand Oaks office have been impacted.

Amgen has maintained that it employs over 5,000 people in Ventura County.

Those who were being laid off were informed on March 16. These cuts are in addition to the 305 jobs the Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology giant let go of on Jan. 30. Those cuts are set to begin on March 31.

“We know this is a challenging time for each person impacted. We will support staff leaving Amgen by offering transition services and severance, ensuring they are treated with respect for their contributions,” the statement read.

An Amgen spokesperson confirmed that the company did file a WARN Act with the state.

Known as the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, the state’s WARN Act requires employers to file a notice when laying off more than 50 employees in California or when shutting down an entire facility.

The WARN Act filing has not been made readily available as of March 16.

The company also filed a WARN Act with the state for the layoffs announced on Jan. 30. Obtained by the Business Times, the filing states that Amgen laid off 305 people here in the Thousand Oaks office.

However, that does not mean that all 305 people actually reported to the Thousand Oaks office in person.

Because it is the headquarters, remote workers across the country likely report to the Thousand Oaks office and, therefore, that layoff would have to be reported on the WARN Act with the state.

This news also comes a couple of days after a lawsuit against Amgen came to light.

Amgen is being sued for allegedly failing to quickly disclose to investors it might owe the Internal Revenue Service more than $10 billion in back taxes and penalties.

The class action lawsuit was brought by Detroit-based Roofers Local No. 149 Pension Fund and filed March 13 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in New York City. It was filed there in part because Amgen’s common stock trades there on the NASDAQ exchange.

Amgen has denied the lawsuit’s allegations.

Amgen shares were down less than 1% on March 16 and closed at $234.57.

email: jmercado@pacbiztimes.com