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Lawsuit accuses Yellow of mass layoffs without required advanced notice

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A class action lawsuit filed this week accuses trucking giant Yellow Corp. of failing to provide the legally required amount of notice prior to laying off tens of thousands of workers.

According to the suit filed in the US District Court for the District of Delaware on August 1, Nashville-headquartered Yellow Corp. performed mass worker layoffs beginning on or around July 28, 2023, but failed to provide the 60 days of advance written notice, as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Armando Rivera, a dockworker at the Bloomington, California, facility who had been employed by Yellow from July 1998 through July 2023.

Approximately 30,000 workers were laid off due to facility closings, according to the lawsuit. Of those 30,000 laid off workers, 22,000 were union members.

The lawsuit also alleges that Yellow violated laws similar to WARN in California and New Jersey that require several weeks of notice prior to mass layoffs.

The lawsuit asks for the 60 days of unpaid wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay, accrued vacation pay, pension and 401(k) contributions and other ERISA benefits that would have been granted to the abruptly laid off workers under the WARN law’s provisions.

The lawsuit also names Yellow subsidiaries YRC Inc., USF Holland LLC, New Penn Motor Express LLC, and USF Reddaway Inc.

The news of Yellow’s end of operations was confirmed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) on Monday morning. IBT confirmed that they were served legal notice that the trucking company had ceased operating and is filing for bankruptcy amid ongoing strife between the company and the union.

In 2020, Yellow was the recipient of $700 million in COVID-19 relief funding, giving the federal government a 30% stake in the company. Yellow has struggled to repay that loan.

Yellow Transit Freight Lines, the company that would become Yellow, was established in 1924 in Oklahoma City by brothers Cleve and A.J. Harrell.

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