You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Skip to main content

United Furniture Facing Lawsuits Over Abrupt Shutdown

United Furniture Industries faces class-action lawsuit from former employees

Just a day after announcing it would shutter its doors permanently, United Furniture Industries, parent company of Lane Furniture, faces class-action lawsuits filed on behalf of former employees who say the company violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act by not giving them 60 days notice of termination.

The suit was filed on Nov. 22, the day after Mississippi-based United Furniture Industries abruptly announced it would shut down its operation immediately, laying off around 2,700 employees. According to the WARN Act, employers are required to give workers at least 60 days notice before shutting down operations.

Filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi Aberdeen Division, the suit names former United Furniture Industries employee Willie Poe, along with 30 other employees as plaintiffs. The suit is asking for 60 days’ pay plus any accrued vacation pay, as well as any applicable court and attorney’s fees.

The lawsuit also points out that United Furniture Industries failed to notify local officials such as Mississippi Rapid Response; the mayors of Amory, Tupelo, Verona, Wren, Okolona and Nettleton; as well as the presidents and boards of Lee and Monroe counties.

Two additional lawsuits were also filed by former employees Frances Denise Alomari and Toria Neal. Alomari’s suit also was filed on Nov. 22, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi Oxford Division while Neal’s was filed the following day in the same district court as the class action suit.

Related Stories

Both lawsuits request the standard 60 days’ pay as outlined by the WARN Act. Alomari’s suit also requests that United Furniture Industries complies with the law, provides severance payments to its terminated workers and doesn’t solicit releases of claims from any workers without informing them of the pending lawsuits and their right to pursue claims under the WARN Act.

In its announcement sent via email to employees, United Furniture Industries said it would immediately terminate compensation and benefits, and would not cover COBRA benefits for its employees.

“We regret that this difficult and unexpected situation has made this necessary,” the company said in its letter to employees. “Additional information will be provided shortly.”