More workers are being let go as corporate layoffs have accelerated in recent weeks. And more often, people are looking around and complaining that they have been unfairly or improperly dismissed.
Former employees of Lehman Brothers, say they were not given the required 60 days’ pay before their jobs vanished, while Dell is being sued over allegations of age and sex discrimination against workers.
Before filing many types of discrimination lawsuits, employees must file a claim with the government.
Employees of several companies are trying to bring class-action suits — which will require a judge’s approval. Terminated employees of the furniture retailer Ethan Allen filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the company in October. Former employees of Dell, filed an age and sex discrimination suit against the company that same month. A veteran terminated by Lockheed Martin sued in November, claiming among other things that the company discriminated against veterans.
Some companies, retrenching quickly or collapsing, may have violated a 1989 law requiring 60 days’ notice before laying off workers. It is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as the Warn Act, and a complaint by a group of displaced workers who did not get pay for that time led to a Chicago sit-in recently. Suits claiming Warn Act violations have been filed not only against Lehman Brothers, the failed investment bank, but also against Eos, a bankrupt airline, and a pair of law firms that recently folded, Thelen and Heller Ehrman.
At Eos, employees were paid twice a month and were told of the company’s collapse days before payday, said a former director of global sales for the airline and the class representative in the suit. He worked at Eos from 2005 until its bankruptcy last spring; the airline did not pay him during his last weeks at the company, nor did it pay him the amounts mandated by the Warn Act.
Many corporate defendants may not have the funds to pay up even if they are found in violation. If the plaintiffs suing Lehman are successful, for example, they will end up as claimants in bankruptcy court, with probably a small fraction of the amount sought, alongside the company’s other creditors. The Eos plaintiffs stand to receive about $1.7 million, just over half of what their lawyer says they were owed, under a settlement approved by federal bankruptcy court.
If you or a family member has been LAID OFF or wrongfully terminated because of the fault of someone else; please contact the Fort Worth Texas Employment Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.