This lawsuit alleges that Dade Medical College and the University of Southernmost Florida terminated 400 or more employees without providing the statutorily-mandated 60 days of advance written notice, in violation of the notice requirements of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2101 et seq. (“WARN Act”), enacted in August 1988, offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union), to the state dislocated worker unit, and to the appropriate unit of local government.
Dale Medical College, headquartered in Coral Gables with campuses in Miami, Miami Lakes, Homestead and Hollywood, Florida, and the University of Southernmost Florida, also headquartered in Coral Gables with campuses in Miami and Broward Counties, Florida, have common ownership, directors and operations, including the same personnel policies (jointly “the Schools”).
On October 30, 2015, the Schools terminated 400 or more employees who worked at or reported to either the corporate offices or the Miami and Broward County offices, without cause on the employees' part. Nine terminated employees filed suit against the Schools on November 3, 2015 (United States District Court Southern District of Florida), on behalf of themselves and the approximately 400 similarly situated former employees who were also terminated by the Schools, alleging the mass layoffs were conducted in violation of the WARN Act.
The complaint alleges that class action certification is appropriate since all are “aggrieved employees”, as defined in the WARN Act, who did not receive the 60 day written notice required by the WARN Act or who have not continued to receive wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay and vacation, and pension and 401(k) contributions and other employee benefits from the Schools since the termination date.
The employees seek judgment for unpaid wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay and vacation, and pension and 401(k) contributions and other employee benefits that would have been paid had that coverage continues for the period required by the WARN Act, attorney fees and costs.