Lawsuit Investigation Looks into Hy-Vee Layoffs for Alleged WARN Act Violations
Last Updated on December 13, 2022
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Anyone who was fired from Hy-Vee as part of a mass layoff within the past year.
- What’s Going On?
- Hy-Vee is being investigated for potential WARN Act violations after hundreds of workers were fired in a round of layoffs. Attorneys believe workers were not given enough notice of the mass layoff and are looking into whether a class action can be filed.
- What’s the WARN Act?
- The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires companies to provide at least 60 days’ notice of a mass layoff in certain situations.
- How Could a Lawsuit Help?
- A lawsuit could help former Hy-Vee employees get back lost wages and benefits.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether Hy-Vee violated a federal law during a round of layoffs this year.
Specifically, they’re looking into whether Hy-Vee violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act by failing to give employees at least 60 days’ notice of a mass layoff.
Former Hy-Vee employees could be owed lost wages and benefits, and the attorneys need to speak with more people who were fired from the grocery chain’s corporate offices before they can determine whether a class action can be filed.
Hy-Vee Lays Off Hundreds of Workers
Last March, Hy-Vee announced that it had laid off employees across several departments at its West Des Moines, Iowa headquarters and a technology center in Grimes, Iowa.
A Hy-Vee spokesperson told the Des Moines Register that the layoff was part of a restructuring effort that saw 121 positions eliminated. The spokesperson went on to say that 102 employees were offered positions at the grocery chain’s retail stores and 19 were not offered other positions.
A month later, Hy-Vee announced in an advertisement published in the Des Moines Register that it intended to ask 500 corporate employees to relocate to retail stores, citing “economic challenges.”
In May, Hy-Vee laid off another 57 employees from its corporate offices, bringing the number of eliminated positions to 415 since March. According to a company spokesperson, the laid-off workers were offered positions at Hy-Vee’s retail stores.
The attorneys suspect that Hy-Vee’s reduction of its corporate workforce constitutes a mass layoff under the WARN Act, and that the fired workers were not provided with the required 60 days’ notice of the layoff.
Alleged WARN Act Violations
The WARN Act was passed in 1988 and requires certain employers to provide written notice at least 60 days in advance of a plant closing or mass layoff.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, fired employees may be protected by the WARN Act if their employer laid off 50 to 499 full-time employees at a single employment site and the number of fired workers was at least 33 percent of the site’s workforce, or when their employer laid off 500 or more full-time workers at a single employment site.
The DOL notes that verbal notice of a mass layoff does not meet the WARN Act’s requirements; the notice must be in writing and provided to workers at least 60 calendar days in advance of the mass layoff.
Companies who are found to have committed WARN Act violations may be required to pay fired workers 60 days of back pay and benefits, depending on when they received notice.
Now, attorneys working with ClassAction.org are looking into whether a class action lawsuit can be filed against Hy-Vee for alleged WARN Act violations to help workers get money back.
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