Riverside, Calif.-based Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. responded to a class action lawsuit filed today (March 13) claiming the company violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) in connection with the March 9 closure of its travel trailer division.
Fleetwood stated: “We don’t usually comment on pending litigation, but in this case there is a great deal of misinformation which is being disseminated, so we want to be very clear that we provided WARN notices to the affected associates in full compliance with the law, and further that we properly notified the appropriate federal, state and local authorities.”
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California on behalf of over 700 employees who were laid off as a result of the March 9 announcement. On March 10, Fleetwood filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Riverside.
The lawsuit claims that Fleetwood violated the WARN Act which provides that employers must give 60 days notice to employers prior to a plant closing or mass layoff. The lawsuit seeks 60 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. Plants were also closed in Pendleton and La Grande, Ore.
Fleetwood stated in its bankruptcy filing that it will continue to make motorhomes and manufactured homes.