Finally Some Good News For Fisker! No, Not Really, Company Is Hit With Federal Lawsuit On Recent Dismissals
APR 7 2013 BY JAY COLE
The way Fisker has unravelled over the past year is almost too painful to watch. Yet we continue to do so, as the situation as now reached “accident on the side of the road” proportions.
The company’s most recent set back, as reported by the Automotive News, is being accused by a federal lawsuit of breaking laws as it pertains to mass layoffs of employees. Specifically, advance notice and compensation.
On Friday, Fisker told 75% of its remaining staff that they were being laid off, including the PR guys.
Apparently, by 8am, there was a steady stream of employees leaving with boxes and “white envelopes” in hand, saying they were laid off, without notice or severence, other than being paid for unused vacation days.
Shortly thereafter, a legal suit was filed with the District Court in Santa Ana, California for improper actions.
The suit alleges that Fisker failed to give notice to employees of their terminations 60 days ahead of time, as required by the WARN act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification), and that Fisker failed to pay the employees the wages that they would have earned in the 60 days following the layoff.
According to the Automotive News, the action was filed by Outten & Golden LLP (who previously won a $3.5 million dollar settlement against Solyndra, for pretty much the exact same thing) on behalf of Sven Etzelsberger, a former Fisker employee, along with “other similarly situated former employees,” the law firm seeks class action status for the suit.
Additionally, Outten & Golden says that Fisker violated labor laws by not notifying California’s Employment Development Department of the terminations, along with officials in both Anaheim and Orange County.
Total damages sought has not be specified, but looks to compensate all affected employees by the amount they were legally due over the course of the 60 days notice they were not given, as outlined in the WARN act.
Additionally, the suit says Fisker can be subject to up to $500 in civil penalties, per employee affected, for every day it is in violation of the lay. With 160 employess potentially in play, that is $80,000 a day.
What gives the law firm the impression that Fisker can pay out this lawsuit, as many companies are in violation of this Act when free falling in on bankruptcy? Maybe it is the $15 million dollar settlement Fisker agreed to with the now bankrupt portion of A123, which is now unfortunately named B456.
Automotive News (sub)
Categories: Fisker / Karma