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Mass Layoffs

Mass Layoffs

When an employer is forced to close its business, file for bankruptcy or lay off employees, it creates substantial hardship on employees. Whether or not the employer goes out of business, bankruptcy has a dramatic effect on employees who are working for the employer and their labor unions. Such bankruptcy filings frequently result in unpaid wages, health, and pension benefits, and benefits under collective bargaining agreements such as unpaid vacation, sick leave, and incentives.
The labor law attorneys at The Previant Law Firm, S.C. are nationally recognized for their efforts in representing labor unions whose employees are affected by employer bankruptcy. Representing both local unions and international unions, the attorneys on our bankruptcy team have represented groups sized from 10 to 10,000 employees. Our attorneys have appeared in bankruptcy litigation across the country, including courts in Wisconsin, Delaware, Georgia, New York, Michigan, and elsewhere. We have litigated matters before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits. We have collected tens of millions of dollars of employees’ earned wages and benefits through bankruptcy proceedings.

The filing of a bankruptcy petition may result in the employer seeking to reject the collective bargaining agreement, reduce employees’ wages, and make significant changes to the terms and conditions of employment. If your union is affected by the bankruptcy of a signatory employer and you are seeking counsel to represent the interests of your employees, The Previant Law Firm, S.C. can help.

Retiree Committees Affected by Employer Bankruptcy
Retired employees of an employer are also affected by the employer’s bankruptcy. Section 1114 of the Bankruptcy Code addresses the treatment of benefits for retirees of companies that have filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Retiree benefits are defined as payments to “any entity or person for the purpose of providing or reimbursing payments for retired employees and their spouses and dependents” for medical benefits, hospital benefits, death benefits, etc.

Our attorneys have extensive experience representing retirees in bankruptcy proceedings. If you are a retiree or group of retirees affected by the bankruptcy of an employer and you are seeking counsel to represent the interests of you and your fellow retirees, contact our firm to discuss your rights and options.

Plant Closures & Mass Layoffs
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act provides employees with certain rights in the event their employer must lay off employees or close a plant. In many cases, WARN requires an employer to give a 60-day notice before taking certain actions causing a loss of employment. For each day the employer violated WARN, the employer is liable to employees for back pay and benefits each employee would have earned.

The WARN Act is triggered when an employer closes a plant or lays off a significant number of employees. An employer is subject to the notice requirements in the WARN Act if it is a business that employs at least 100 full-time employees or employs at least 100 workers who, combined, work more than 4,000 hours per week, not including overtime and excluding part-time employees.

A “mass layoff” is a reduction in force not due to a plant closing, or a loss of employment at a single site that affects a significant number of employees. A loss of employment at a single site during any 30-day period falls under the WARN requirements if it affects a minimum of 50 employees, who constitute at least 33% of the employer’s full-time employees. An employer who lays off 500 or more full-time employees at a single worksite, regardless of the percentage of workforce those 500 employees compose, is also subject to the WARN Act’s notification requirements.

The Previant Law Firm, S.C. has successfully pursued actions on behalf of workers affected by plant closures and mass layoffs. Our WARN Act team has assisted employees and their unions in collecting the pay and benefits they were entitled to. If you have been affected by a plant closure or have questions about the WARN Act, please do not wait to talk to a lawyer handling mass layoffs at our firm.

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