Challenges of Working For A Company That Has Shutdown

Getting Trapped In Red Tape

Getting Trapped In Red TapeIt’s hard enough to suddenly lose a job, but it can be even harder to lose a job to a company that has shutdown.  Some former Hostess employees told St. Louis Today that they’re learning that the hard way.

Rick Marzuco lost his job as a Hostess driver just 10 days before Thanksgiving and he says he’s still waiting to find another job, and Hostess is holding up the process by not providing background and drug and alcohol testing records to prospective employers in a timely fashion.

Marzuco, a driver for Hostess for 12 years, told STLToday that since he was laid-off, he has applied for 10 jobs and has landed 5 interviews.  The prospective employers told Marzuco that Hostess hadn’t responded to their request for records, and he hasn’t been offered a job because of the delay.

“I had a job offer seven days after Hostess closed, and they had to fill the position with someone else,”  Marzuco told STL Today, “I have a perfect driving record and never failed a drug screen, and I haven’t been able to get a job because they’re not returning background checks.”

Marzuco is not alone, says STL Today.  Other employees have experienced similar road blocks.

Former Hostess driver Jeff Merlenbach, 47, told the paper that he’s still waiting for his vacation payout, but the $3,000 that is owed to him is tied up in bureaucratic red tape.

“They owed it to us and they refuse to pay us,” Merlenbach said.

Hostess said that it cannot pay employees what they’re owed because unused and vacation pay was not included in the wind-down plan, however, some Hostess execs will receive some of the $1.8 million in bonuses severance packages approved in November; funds that were named in the plan.

Hostess disagrees with the former drivers’ claims.

Hostess spokesman Erik Halvorson wrote in an email to STLToday, “Since we began the wind-down, all drug and alcohol screening verifications have been responded to within the 30-day (Department of Transportation) requirement.”

He added that the company’s turnaround time is one to two business days.

Protect yourself:

When you’re getting your medical exam done, request a copy before you hand it over to your employer.

Carriers have 30 days to obtain all records.  If your former employer is stalling, be persistent– call or email daily.

Have you ever faced this road block?  What did you do about it?