Gardner & Rosenberg represents a class of over 200 employees terminated without notice when the maternity and parenting education and services company they worker for suddenly shut its doors in 2014. The company never paid the employees “back pay” required under the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2101. Gardner & Rosenberg obtained a judgment on behalf of the employees against the company for the “back pay” owed, but the company claimed insolvency and never paid. The employees then sought damages against certain individual officers under the Massachusetts Wage Act, M.G.L. c. 149 § 148. That issue is now before the Supreme Judicial Court, which is requesting amicus briefs on the issue of whether WARN Act back pay constitutes wages under the Massachusetts Wage Act.
Jillian Calixto & another vs. Heather Coughlin & others
Whether “back pay” paid by an employer to displaced workers under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2101 et seq., constitutes “wages” for purposes of the Massachusetts wage act, G. L. c. 149, § 148.