ASI Ltd. has filed a response to the recently filed amended class action complaint filed by a former employee who alleges he and other employees were let go without the proper 60 days’ advance notice required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. The company admits that no written notice was issued prior to the plant closing or prior to the layoff, but denies allegations that its actions were in violation of the WARN Act, according to court documents.
ASI further denies allegations that it failed to pay Shepherd and his fellow employees their respective wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay and accrued vacation for 60 days following their respective terminations and failed to make 401(k) contributions and provide them with health insurance coverage and other employee benefits.
With the amended complaint, Shepherd had added S&S Racing and Winton Development, which he claims were headquartered at the same facility as ASI and shared ownership with the contract glazier, as co-defendants; however, ASI’s response denies that the three acted as a “single employer” as defined by the WARN Act.
ASI further denies that in 2011 Ken Smith and his wife, Cheryl, owned ASI and were
stockholders or shareholders of ASI, but admits the two owned S&S and Winton and that Ken Smith served as president of all three companies.
The response goes on to deny that all three companies “shared a unity of personnel policies emanating from a common source.”
ASI officials also allege that the company should be excused from the requirements of the WARN Act because “the plant closing was caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable as of the time notice would have been required.”
“As of the time notice would have been required under the WARN Act, as alleged by Plaintiffs herein, [ASI] was actively seeking capital and business which, if obtained, would have enabled the employer to avoid or postpone the shut-down and ASI reasonably and in good faith believed that giving the notice required would have precluded the employer from obtaining the needed capital and/or business,” writes the company.
ASI suspended its operations on December 22, 2011.