Former American Apparel employees alleging that the company violated labor laws by not giving adequate notice for layoffs have filed a proposed class action lawsuit.
According to Lawyers and Settlements, on April 1, mass layoffs were triggered at the retailer, with the company claiming that they were “necessary to ensure the future health and viability of the company.”
However, the proposed lawsuit claims that employees were blindsided by the announcement and given little or minimal severance. The lawsuit alleges that the retailer failed to adhere to California and federal statutes that require 60 days notice prior to a layoff or job termination, or when a worker is let go through no fault of his or her own doing.
The lawsuit also alleges that employees who had limited English were pressured into signing separation agreements, which left them with little legal recourse to file claims about possible labor violations. The lawsuit seeks 60 days worth of pay for each worker laid off.
Can I File a Lawsuit if I Was Laid Off?
Fortunately, California offers protections for workers who may experience unexpected layoffs, including the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. This piece of legislation requires that all companies operating in the state with 75 employees or more to provide 60 days’ notice when laying off 50 or more workers.
If workers are not given notice, then the companies are required to pay up to 60 days of compensation and benefits. Employers who do not do this can face stiff fines.
As this case shows, class action lawsuits and other forms of litigation can be incredibly effective in holding employers responsible when they do not follow labor guidelines. If you feel like your employer is violating labor laws, it may be in your best interest to speak to an employment attorney.
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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys