Labor/Employment

United Furniture sued after firing 2,700 workers

A Mississippi-based furniture company is being sued after firing all of its nearly 2,700 employees by email and text message “moments before midnight” just days ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, according to a new filing. 

“Moments before midnight on November 21, 2022, United notified its employees, via email and text message, that it was terminating all of its employees effective immediately,” according to court documents.

The new lawsuit alleges that United Furniture Industries violated the federal WARN Act, or Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, requiring employers give 60 days notice in advance of termination and 60 days severance pay.

“They weren’t given either,” said Jack Simpson, the attorney advocating for the former employees, in a statement to The Hill.

United Furniture Industries, Inc. laid off its entire workforce last Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, according to MarketWatch and other outlets. The effective-immediately termination reportedly left employees with no income and cut them off of benefits. 

“I have spoken to a husband and wife who both lost their job at the same time, an individual who has stomach cancer and is worried about affording his medication, and another individual who has to decide between postponing a surgery or paying the medical expenses out of pocket.  This is tragic situation that is hard to understand,” Simpson said.

The new lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi last week on behalf of longtime United Furniture employee Toria Neal and “potentially thousands” of other workers. Simpson said over 100 of the furniture company’s ex-employees have now hired his firm.

United Furniture could not be reached for comment.

Tags employees firings Thanksgiving United Furniture WARN Act workforce

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