Law Firms

Dewey Employee Sues over WARN Notice; Pension Plans Seized

A Dewey & LeBoeuf employee has filed a would-be class action suit on behalf of an estimated 450 employees that contends they didn’t get the required layoff notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act.

Vittoria Conn filed the suit on Thursday, according to Bloomberg News, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog and the Am Law Daily. The suit says about 450 workers will be laid off without the required notice of 60 days under federal law and 90 days under state law. The employees got their notice on or about May 7, according to the complaint. Support staffers have been told Friday is their last day, while some associates have been told they will be laid off on Tuesday.

Conn, 55, is a document specialist with the firm. “To know that now we’re just being swept out the door is so hurtful to me and it’s illegal,” she told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has moved to take over Dewey’s pension plans, saying they are underfunded by about $80 million. The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and Pensions & Investments have separate stories. Recent filings indicate Dewey had $75.1 million in a pension plan and $76.5 million in two cash balance plans as of the end of 2010, according to Pensions & Investments. The development likely means lower payments for some, since benefits are capped at about $56,000 a year in a PCBG takeover.

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