Monday, February 2, 2009
The New York Times reports a recent uptick in the number of lawsuits by laid-off workers against their former employers. The report highlights suits by former Lehman Brothers, Eos Airlines and Heller Ehrman employees, who claim they were not given the notice due under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, and suits by former Dell and Ethan Allen employees alleging age and sex discrimination. But the report also suggests that we may be facing a perfect storm of employment litigation. The elements of the storm include new protections for employees, coupled with an administration that may be more inclined to enforce laws on the books and an economic environment in which desperate workers are willing to take extreme measures, including litigation.