N.D. Illinois Decertifies Class After Finding There Was No Violation of WARN’s Notification Requirement
Per Phason v. Meridian Rail Corp., 2006 WL 1235090 (N.D. Ill. May 8, 2006):
. . . In the complaint, the plaintiff class alleges that Meridian Rail Corporation ("Meridian") failed to provide notice of a plant closing or mass layoff pursuant to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act ("WARN"), see 29 U.S.C. § 2101 et seq. . . .
. . . It is uncontested that Meridian is an "employer" under the WARN Act and gave no WARN Act notice to its employees when it sold its business to Nortrak. At issue is whether Meridian was obligated to give the notice. The WARN Act requires employers who employ more than 100 employees to provide a 60- day warning of a plant closing or mass layoff if the shutdown or layoff results in an employment loss at a single site of employment during any 30-day period for 50 or more employees, excluding part-time employees. 29 U.S.C. § 2101(a). . . .
. . .
Because the undisputed evidence in the record establishes that less than 19 laid-off workers suffered an employment loss, this court finds that the plaintiff class cannot establish that 50 or more employees suffered an employment loss due to Meridian's sale of the plant to Nortrak. . . .
This court's decision on summary judgment also affects the previous court order to certify the class. The court rested its decision to certify the class on the plaintiffs' representation that 50 or more putative class members were "affected employees" under the WARN Act. On summary judgment, this court finds that the evidence does not support the plaintiffs' representation. Based on this finding, the court now decertifies the class.