2 former United Furniture employees sue company for failure to pay final week’s wages

Like 3 previous filings, suit also claims company failed to provide 60-day notice before mass firing as required by federal and California WARN Acts

TUPELO, Miss. — Two more former employees of United Furniture Industries have filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging they were not paid for their final week of work and also did not receive 60 days’ advance notice before their terminations as required by both the federal and state of California WARN Acts.

The lawsuit was filed Nov. 28 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of plaintiffs Dominick Alcantara and Mario Gonzalez along with other employees who were notified the evening of Nov. 21 by text and email that they were being terminated immediately. The suit states that they — along with an estimated 2,700 other workers — were terminated without any advance written notice.

The Nov. 21 notice terminated all employees immediately except for over-the-road drivers who were out making deliveries. The company said in its email that those drivers would be paid for the balance of the week.

The suit names as defendants United Furniture Industries, UFI California Inc., UFI Transportation LLC, Lane Furniture Inc., LS Logistics, Stage Capital and David Belford, owner of United Furniture Industries.

The suit states that in addition to not receiving the required 60-day WARN Act notice, most employees were not paid for their final week of work ending Nov. 18, “which would have been paid by Friday, Nov. 25, or for work performed on Nov. 21 or thereafter.”

The suit also said that no employees were paid for their accrued paid time off.

The plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and all other employees impacted by the layoffs, seek to recover 60 days of wages and benefits as allowed by federal and California state law. They also seek to recover the wages owed for their final week of work and also for their unused paid time off.

The suit states that the decision to not provide 60-day notice to the employees was made by Stage Capital and identifies defendant David Belford as the owner of Stage Capital along with UFI and other affiliates. Attempts to contact Belford have been unsuccessful.

The suit seeks four main claims for relief including relief under both the federal WARN Act and the California WARN Act.

The third claim for relief alleges violations of California wage laws by failing to pay workers for their final week of work, unused paid time off and for failing to issue a final pay stub documenting hours worked in their final days with the company. It states that earned and unpaid wages, including unused vacation, became due and payable immediately upon their discharge from the company.

A fourth claim for relief alleges a violation of North Carolina wage law by not paying all wages due on or before their next regular payday.

“Plaintiffs who worked in defendants’ facilities in North Carolina and were terminated on Nov. 21, 2022, were to be paid all wages due on Nov. 25, 2022, but were not,” the suit claims.

The suit also claims that the North Carolina employees were promised vacation pay prior to their terminations. Upon termination, the suit claims, “plaintiffs who worked in defendants’ facilities in North Carolina were entitled to payment of unused vacation from defendants, none of which has been paid.”

The suit seeks a judgment in favor of the affected employees, equal to the sum of their unpaid wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay, accrued vacation pay, pension and 401(k) contributions, and other ERISA benefits for 60 days.

This is the third lawsuit filed by former United Furniture Industries employees for  alleged violations of the WARN Act and failure to pay other benefits including unused vacation time. For an overview of those other lawsuits, click here.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter for breaking news, special features and early access to all the industry stories that matter!

Sponsored By: