Former Shop-Vac Corp. employees who were suddenly fired in September have filed a class action lawsuit against their former employer in federal court.
More than 400 employees at the 2323 Reach Road plant, a leading manufacturer of wet and dry vacuum cleaners and accessories, were given notice without notice in mid-September and within 90 days of that date, according to the lawsuit in the US Middle District Court.
Among those fired was Candice Gair, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, alleging that Shop-Vac fired her and similarly situated employees in violation of the Worker Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act).
Employment law requires 60 days’ written notice to be given at Cunningham, Chernicoff & Warshawsky of Harrisburg, according to plaintiffs attorney Robert E. Chernicoff.
When the workers were fired, dozens of workers outside the plant held up protest signs for fear of returning to the property after being told they would otherwise be charged with trespassing.
The injured workers walked along the banks of Reach Road with signs and gave interviews.
A security guard followed them to make sure they weren’t on the company’s premises.
Gair was among those who were allegedly fired without notice and for no reason when the company began a plant closure or mass layoff on or about September 15. Until then, Gair had been with the company for five years, according to the lawsuit.
The company was founded in 1953 as a family business. It had two factories, headquarters in Williamsport and one in Binghamton, New York.
Shop-Vac has dedicated its Williamsport factory to producing high quality products for customers.
Given the ongoing liquidity challenges, a refinancing / selling process took place.
In late December 2020, a Chinese conglomerate, Hangzhou Equipment Holdings, a subsidiary of Hangzhou Great Star Industrial, announced the acquisition of Shop-Vac.
The injured former employees apply for a court order to grant them unpaid salaries, commissions, bonuses, vacation pay, vacation pay, pension contributions and other benefits for 60 days that would have been covered and paid under the pension plans then in effect.
A notice or subpoena was sent to Shop-Vac Corp. in the civil lawsuit before US Judge Matthew W. Brann on Tuesday. Posted.
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