A Florida Koozie Maker Settles COVID-19 Layoff Case for Over $350,000

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a lot of layoffs, including those at Scribe Opco Inc., also known as the Koozie Group. 212 employees from the Florida and Minnesota plants were laid off at the beginning of the pandemic, and sought compensation from the company.

Case background

Former Koozie Group employee and class representative Eric Jones sued the corporation in December 2020. He alleged that the company violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Scribe Opco and the Koozie Group argued that the layoff were an “unforeseeable business circumstance,” which is an exception under the law.

The company is based in Clearwater, Florida and owns a plant in the area. Koozie Group produces promotional products like koozies and BIC-branded pens and lighters. Starting March 25, 2020, the company laid off 212 employees for six month or more, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Jones and the Koozie Group agreed, as a part of the settlement, that the company did not commit any wrongdoing. They agreed to the settlement “because of the substantial expense of litigation, the length of time necessary to resolve the issues presented in this case, the inconveniences involved, and the disruption to its business operations.” Each class member will receive $1,635 before costs and attorney fees are deducted. The final amount should come out to just under $979, and Jones has requested an additional $5,000 as the class representative. Remaining funds will be donated to the Bay Area Legal Services.

If you were wrongfully laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may also have legal options. Contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at at Kardell Law Group today to learn more about your options.