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Bed Bath & Beyond Sued After Laying Off 1,300

As Bed Bath & Beyond shutters a significant portion of its stores, the company expects to lay off nearly 1,300 employees across four locations in New Jersey, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice.

The notice named three Bed Bath & Beyond stores in Port Reading, Secaucus and Union, as well as its Harmon store in Totowa, as slated to close. Port Reading, the largest of those listed with 572 affected employees, officially closes Tuesday. The remaining closures are slated for early April.

The layoffs come before a change to New Jersey’s labor laws that mandate businesses with 100 or more employees to notify the government at least 90 days in advance to closings. Currently, the period is only 60 days. Bed Bath & Beyond previously announced sweeping job cuts last year.

On Friday, former employee Michael Palmeri filed a class action suit in New Jersey on behalf of himself and other employees against Harmon and Bed Bath & Beyond, alleging a WARN violation. According to the suit, Bed Bath & Beyond did not provide at least 60 days’ notice of termination as required by the WARN Act. The suit also alleges that terminated employees did not receive the full compensation owed.

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As part of its turnaround plan, Bed Bath & Beyond announced earlier this year that it would close around 400 stores, including its entire Harmon chain and 120 BuyBuy Baby locations, with the goal of streamlining to just 360 stores.

Earlier this month, the retailer added another potential $100 million to its turnaround effort with an amendment to its Series A stock offering. The amendment would further facilitate up to $100 million of additional funding in April, for a cumulative total of $460 million to date.  Under the amendment, Bed Bath & Beyond would adjust the price failure threshold to $1.00 until April 3. However, that potential influx of cash has been in jeopardy since the company’s stock has failed to reach the $1.00 threshold.

Bed Bath & Beyond secured $225 million after hedge fund Hudson Bay Capital Management purchased the retailer’s initial offering of Series A shares, along with $800 million through the issuance of securities requiring the holder to purchase shares of Series A preferred stock in future installments. The company announced on March 8 that its equity offering had pulled in an additional $135 million in gross proceeds.