TAMPA -- A Florida media company is facing a class-action lawsuit brought by a former employee who claims it violated labor laws by not providing 60-days notice of termination as required by the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.
Matthew Mitchell filed the suit April 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Mitchell is asking for the “collection of unpaid wages and benefits for 60 calendar days” on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated. He was employed by Ren Media Group, which operates a home shopping television channel in Pinellas County.
Mitchell and 50 other employees were terminated in November 2017 as part of a plant shutdown at the Clearwater, Florida location. The suit accuses Ren Media Group of not providing written notice as required by the WARN Act, which was enacted in 1988. The act offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of plant closings and mass layoffs.
Under the WARN Act, an employer must give notice if an employment site will be shut down and the shutdown will result in an employment loss for 50 or more employees during a 30-day period. It must also give notice if there will be a mass layoff of 50 to 499 employees if they make up at least 33 percent of the employer’s workforce.
The suit alleges that the company failed to pay Mitchell and each class member “their respective wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay and accrued vacation for 60 days following their respective termination."
The suit also alleges that the company failed to make pension and 401(k) contributions, and “pay their medical expenses for 60 calendar days from and after the dates of their respective terminations.”
Mitchell is being represented by Wenzel Fenton Cabassa PA in Tampa.