A class action complaint claims the companies violated the WARN Act by failing to give its employees at least 60 days notice of the mass layoff.

Foxtrot, Dom’s sued amid mass layoff

A Foxtrot store on The Drag in Austin, Texas. Permission granted by Foxtrot

Dive Brief:

  • Foxtrot, its sister company Dom’s Kitchen & Market and their parent firm Outfox Hospitality are being sued for violating the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, according to a class action complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
  • The suit was filed on April 24, just one day after the combined companies unexpectedly ceased operations. It claims the Chicago-based companies violated the WARN Act by failing to give its employees — who have all been terminated — at least 60 days notice of the mass layoff.
  • A former Foxtrot employee in Chicago, Jamil Moore, filed the suit “on his own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated,” which is estimated to include roughly 1,000 other people, according to the complaint.

Dive Insight:

According to the complaint, Moore was not told ahead of time about Foxtrot ceasing operations, instead learning about it when he was terminated in the middle of his shift on April 23. 

He wasn’t the only worker to have that experience. Stephanie Roatis, who worked at the Foxtrot in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood, also found out she’d lost her job Tuesday. However, Roatis had a hunch of irregularities in the days leading up to Tuesday, as her team was informed that supply chain “would be an issue as of this weekend.”

“That seemed kind of odd, and then this morning, [in] our mobile app, people couldn’t order ahead,” she said Tuesday in an interview. “And that was the first tip off where I was like, ‘This is not good.’”

In Illinois, companies of 75 or more employees expecting a mass layoff must submit a WARN notice at least 60 days before the layoffs, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. 

According to the complaint, Foxtrot, Dom’s and Outfox failed to pay Moore and other employees their respective wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay and accrued vacation pay for the 60 days required by WARN rules. 

This aligns with information Foxtrot sent to its employees on April 23. According to a company memo obtained by C-Store Dive, employees will be paid no later than April 26 for hours worked through April 23. The memo also notes that any accrued, unused sick leave time will not be paid upon termination. For employees who have accrued and unused paid vacation time, the available balance will be paid on their final paycheck.

The lawsuit requests the court to grant all of these unpaid monies to employees, according to the complaint. Foxtrot did not respond by press time when reached to comment on the lawsuit.

  • Foxtrot ceases operations By Brett Dworski • April 23, 2024
  • Foxtrot and Dom’s announce merger By Catherine Douglas Moran, Jessica Loder • Nov. 27, 2023

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