Saturday, March 7, 2009

This just in

Sorry to be so focused on the happenings of the recent folding of Mr. Ramblings former employer. But it is an interesting case in point of our current economic reality. 
A quick timeline:

• December 15- Company announced 2000 workers are on temporary layoff. 
The local media calls it "furlough". 
• The next 2 months, return-to-work dates are bumped back 5 times. 
• March 2, 2000 employees get Termination of employment notices in the mail. 
• March 5, the Company files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
• March 6, a former employee files a Class Action lawsuit as the company failed to follow Federal WARN law requiring giving 60 days notice, pay & benefits if they are terminating more than 1/3 of their workforce. Furthermore, the  company fails to inform the terminated employees their health insurance had been canceled March 5th. 

The bankruptcy story said Monaco owes as much as it's assets are worth. 
The question is, does the class action lawsuit get in line with 20,000 other creditors, in which case, it becomes a moot point.

The class Action lawsuit is being handled by a New York law firm, Outten & Golden, is the largest firm in the country that represents employees and includes a group of lawyers who do nothing but work on WARN cases. Click here to read the full article. 

The law firm said WARN cases can take six months to two years to litigate, and the vast majority are settled before trial.

It was clear that the company had spent time & money to have their filing for bankruptcy in order, right after the mass firings. So they may well have totally violated the laws that require them to give the employees 2 months pay & health care benefits.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long run. A call to the company about the status of the health care benefits, revealed the coverage had been terminated the day before. Absolutely no notice whatsoever, of termination of health insurance coverage. 

Will the workers get proper compensation? 
How do they give medical coverage for 2 months if the case takes 2 years?
Will Monaco decide they had better settle now & make the issue less expensive overall?
To be continued.....


Unknown said...

Christ, I am so sorry Fran. THe health benefits are a huge concern and those fuckers played it right down to the wire.

I think, but I am not sure, that the bankruptcy overrules the labor laws...but I hope I am wrong.

Fran said...

Oh yea Dusty, they knew exactly what they were doing... their timing was no coincidence.
Meanwhile we may get a bill from 12 weeks of premiums owed.

Maybe we should just bill them for 60 days of wages & health insurance coverage & call it even???

I'm just glad they picked out lawyers who specialize in this field. I would not at all be surprised if they can claim the bankruptcy as their excuse for not complying.

In 2 frigging years, they won't have a penny.

The biggest deal is getting that letter of discontinuation of services in time to get on to other insurance. We are trying to get the insurance company themselves to send a letter of coverage canceled. We've given up hope the company will get it to us in a timely way.

There are 2000 other terminated workers who were not given notice of discontinuation, who may still think they have coverage for at least another 30 days, as the employee handbook states, that and they must pay vacation pay within 24 hours of termination.

It's the classic corporate screw over!

Mauigirl said...

So sorry to hear this - seems pretty shady. I hope the lawsuit works. I agree, the health benefits are a big concern.

Distributorcap said...

so sorry

expect to see more of this - follow rules and laws! puhleeze -- half the owners/boards of bankrupt firms are already out of the country with their booty

Fran said...

D cap~ Don't expect them to follow rules & laws, but have a glisten of hope with the Class Action Lawsuit.

Sounds like bankruptcy court does bank pmts first, employees are 2nd in line.
They can actually make their case while there are assets to pay.

When they bent over backwards to screw the employees..... it would be nice to have some justice inserted.

Hope springs eternal

Won;t hold my breath though... can drag on for a few years.