Former employee sues Archway for abrupt closing

by Staff
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NEW YORK — A former Archway Cookies L.L.C. employee has filed suit alleging the company violated federal and California labor laws when employees in Ohio, Michigan and California were terminated earlier this month.

According to the allegations, Archway Cookies and affiliated companies were required by federal law under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act to give at least 60 days advance written notice of the employee terminations and continue paying certain wages, salary and benefits during the notice period.

"We allege that the Archway Cookies employees are entitled to the protections of the WARN Act," said Rene’ S. Roupinian of Outten & Golden L.L.P. "We also believe that the reasons given for the company’s lack of advance notice — the rising cost of fuel and ingredients — do not meet the WARN Act’s ‘unforeseeable business circumstances’ exception."

The lawyers on the case are seeking to have the suit classified as class action and include all employees who were terminated without cause at the beginning of October.

"We were notified of the shutdown by letter delivered in overnight mail," said Jeffrey Austen, the former employee at the center of the lawsuit. "It’s hard to believe that this 60-year-old company just vanished. We should have been given more time to prepare for the closing. Because of the WARN Act, we hope that this lawsuit will force companies like Archway Cookies to follow the law when it comes to their employees."

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