Charles A. Ercole, Esquire, a partner with the law firm of Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP, today filed a class action lawsuit in United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma on behalf of 1400 former employees of Arrow Trucking alleging violations of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (the “WARN Act”), as well as state wage payment laws, for the Company’s failure to give sixty (60) days notice prior to closing and for bouncing paychecks prior to closing. Mr. Ercole originally filed a similar suit on December 28, in federal district court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. (Docket No. 09-CV-810-TCK-PJC). A copy of the Bankruptcy Complaint, Jeffrey Smith, et al., v. Arrow Trucking Company and Douglas and Carol Pielsticker, Adversary Docket No. (10-01005-R) (N.D. Ok.), is attached at the following link:
The Complaint alleges that Arrow Trucking ceased operations and terminated all of its employees suddenly on or about December 21, 2009, laying off all 1400 employees without prior notice. The Complaint alleges that Arrow Trucking failed to fund fuel cards, thereby stranding drivers hundreds - - in some cases thousands - - of miles from home without a means of transportation to return in time for Christmas. The Complaint alleges further that Arrow Trucking bounced employee paychecks in December, failed to forward premiums to insurance carriers, child support payments, withholding taxes and 401K contributions (even though they were deducted from the employees’ paychecks), and failed to reimburse out of pocket expenses. Based on a preliminary investigation, the claims for the class could total upwards of $15 million.
“This is the most egregious violation of the WARN Act and state wage payment laws that I have seen in my practice,” said Mr. Ercole, who has handled more than a dozen plant closing/mass layoff cases in the past five (5) years. “The hardship imposed on these employees is outrageous and we intend to vigorously prosecute this action against the company and any individual officers who may be responsible.”
Klehr Harrison is a full service law firm located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Ercole is the head of the labor and employment practice and his group has pursued WARN Act cases in various industries including trucking/transportation. For example in the USF Red Star case (MDL 1655)(E.D. Pa., 2004), he was lead counsel in recovering $7 million dollars for over 1900 truck drivers who were laid off without notice.