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Ex-employees sue Texas employer over breach-of-contract disputes

A few terminated employees of a Texas cabinetry company are building a case to sue their former employer. The lawsuit claims their former company violated federal laws meant to protect workers from a sudden loss of employment. The ex-workers' class action lawsuit stems from the bankruptcy filing of the company and the subsequent dismissal of company workers.

Approximately 900 employees working for a the company lost their jobs when the company closed its doors without warning in September. The workers arrived one day only to find themselves locked out and be told that they had been terminated.

Three of the former employees are involved in a lawsuit -- that could be granted class-action status -- against the company for damages resulting from the company's breach of contract. The lawsuit is seeking to recover up to 60 days of back pay and benefits, as well as attorney fees, for violations of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

The law is meant to protect workers from being dismissed without allowing adequate time for the workers to find alternative employment. Companies with more than 100 employees must provide 60 days' notice to workers in advance of covered plant closings and mass layoffs; if they don't, they could run afoul of breach-of-contract violations.

Making sure to protect your rights as an employee is your responsibility. The employees in this case are doing what they can to recover wages that they believe are owed to them, but it may take the intervention of an experienced employment law attorney to assist them.

Source: San Antonio Express-News, "Cardell faces mounting legal battles," Neal Morton, Jan. 7, 2014

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