Klausner Lumber One and Klausner Lumber Two are among the defendants in a proposed class action that alleges the Southern Yellow Pine sawmill operators failed to provide federally mandatory 60 days’ notice before executing a mass layoff.
Filed in Florida, the lawsuit states that the defendants, who include the companies’ CEO and CFO, permanently shut down plant operations without prior notice on March 16, 2020. According to the lawsuit, Klausner “evacuated its foreign management team to Austria,” with knowledge that its Florida and North Carolina facilities would be shuttered.
The plaintiff alleges that while he and approximately 500 similarly situated workers were informed they would receive their complete wages for the final two weeks of work on March 20, the workers instead received no wages come the next payday. According to the suit, proposed class members received no wages, nor at least the minimum wage for every hour worked, from roughly February 24, 2020 through the date of the layoffs.
Further, the case claims the plaintiff and similarly situated employees worked in excess of 40 hours per week for the defendants without receiving time-and-a-half overtime pay.
With regard to the mass layoffs, the case alleges the Klausner defendants violated the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act in that the companies fit the criteria mandating that employers of a certain size provide at least 60 days’ advance notice of a large-scale firing. According to the case, Klausner’s terminations “constituted plant shutdowns or mass layoffs as defined by the WARN Act,” meaning the companies owed laid-off workers respective wages and salaries, commissions, bonuses and accrued holiday and vacation pay for 60 working days following their firings. Similarly, the defendants are alleged in the lawsuit to have failed to make pension and 401(k) contributions and pay medical expenses for 60 calendar days from and after the dates of employees’ respective terminations.