Orlando Hospitality System Settles WARN Act Class Action for $2.3 Million

Rosen Hotels and Resorts, a hospitality system based in Orland, has recently settled class action claims brought under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act for $2.3 million. Hotel workers accused the company of causing them to suffer “employment loss,” failing to notify them of a mass layoff and failing to provide the pay and benefits to which they were entitled.

Case background

Employers with at least 100 full-time workers must provide 60 days’ advance notice if they plan to lay off at least 50 people at a single site, under the WARN Act. These protections arise when the layoff exceeds six months or results in a 50 percent or greater reduction in the hours during each month of a six-month period.

According to the complaint, Rosen Hotels and Resorts put their employees on a temporary furlough in April 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The workers remained on furlough for six months without notification of their employment status. The company also failed to provide the 60 days’ advance notice, required under the WARN Act. Finally, the company failed to provide the workers with pay or benefits for 60 days following the respective layoffs exceeding six months.

Although COVID-19 made WARN Act provisions tricky to navigate, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it could not be considered a natural disaster under the Act. Therefore, companies running afoul of the WARN Act as a result of the pandemic are still liable for benefits and notice required.

If you know of a company failing to meet their employment law obligations, or otherwise running afoul of the law, you may have a whistleblower claim. Contact the knowledgeable whistleblower attorneys at Kardell Law Group for a consultation today.