Klehr Harrison files WARN act suit against Fleetwood Enterprises


Charles A. Ercole of Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers, LLP and Shanon J. Carson of Berger & Montague have filed a class action lawsuit in the Central District of California, Justice v. Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc., Civil Action No. 6:09-ap-01108-BB, on behalf of over 700 employees who were laid off by Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc., on Monday, March 9, 2009 without receiving any notice.  Fleetwood filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 in Riverside, California.  The lawsuit claims that Fleetwood violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the "WARN Act") which provides that employers must give sixty days notice to employees prior to a plant closing or mass layoff.  The lawsuit seeks sixty days wages and benefits in lieu of the notice.

The lead plaintiffs, Sandra Justice and Alicia Rice, were employed at Fleetwood’s plant in Edgerton, Ohio that constructed travel trailers.  Fleetwood stated in its bankruptcy filing that it will continue to make motor coaches and manufactured homes but is permanently shutting down at least three travel trailer manufacturing plants and two service facilities.

"Fleetwood appears to have engaged in a blatant violation of the WARN Act by failing to provide its employees sixty days advance notice of these plant closings and mass layoffs, and workers who are terminated without notice do not have time to search for new employment.  For those living paycheck to paycheck, such notice is crucial to the ability to find substitute work and to support their families," said Shanon Carson of Berger & Montague, P.C., one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs.  Co-counsel for the plaintiffs, Charles A. Ercole of Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers, LLP, states, "We repeatedly see employers ignoring the WARN Act.  The employees are the last ones to know and that is exactly what the WARN Act was meant to prevent."

Former employees of Fleetwood who were part of these layoffs can obtain additional information by calling Shanon Carson at (215) 875-4656 or Chuck A. Ercole at (215) 568-6060, or by email a scarson@bm.net or cercole@klehr.com.

The law firm of Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers, LLP is a full service law firm with approximately 100 attorneys.  It has a reputation for aggressive litigation and has a significant bankruptcy practice as well.  Mr. Ercole is the Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment law practice group and has successfully litigated more than a dozen WARN Act class actions.

For more information, please contact Charles A. Ercole at 215-569-4282 or cercole@klehr.com.


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