A Mississippi-based furnishings firm abruptly laid off almost 2,7,000 staff in america days earlier than Thanksgiving, in line with a number of studies.

Simply earlier than midnight on November 21, hundreds of staff – lots of them sleeping – obtained a textual content message from United Furnishings Industries (UFI) saying they’d successfully been laid off and had been not allowed to return to work.

“On the course of the Board of Administrators…we remorse to tell you that because of unexpected enterprise circumstances, the Firm has been pressured to make the troublesome choice to terminate the employment of all of its workers, with instant impact,” the message, which The New York Publish reviewed, mentioned.

“Your dismissal from the corporate ought to be everlasting and all advantages will terminate instantly with out provision of Cobra,” reads a follow-up e-mail from the corporate, referring to a federal regulation that offers workers who lose their jobs the flexibility to maintain their employer-sponsored medical health insurance underneath sure circumstances.

The corporate additionally requested its drivers to “instantly return tools, stock and supply paperwork”, whether or not or not they’re [they] accomplished [their] supply”.

The workers obtained no clarification as to why they had been terminated so abruptly. On Tuesday, UFI despatched an replace relating to the restoration of their property, which FreightWaves reviewed.

“As quickly because the property supervisor can present a protected and orderly course of for ex-employees to return and choose up their belongings, they may… We’re not sure of the timeline for this, however we are going to talk proactively,” the e-mail reads. .

In response, many workers expressed shock and frustration at their abrupt dismissal.

One worker informed FreightWaves, “It is not honest for staff who’ve significantly labored so laborious to be caught off guard like this. It is not honest for the mom who simply had a child to marvel if she even has medical health insurance to cowl it. It is not honest to the most cancers affected person going via chemo to know how one can pay for her remedies.

One other worker, TJ Martin, informed WLBT: “It has been a drastic shock to all of us… It is placing a damper on everybody’s morale, particularly once you’re informed to be able to hit laborious on Monday. Every of us is devoted to the corporate. We think about ourselves as family members.

On Wednesday, former worker Toria Neal filed a lawsuit in opposition to the corporate, alleging it violated the federal Employee Adjustment and Retraining Act by failing to provide at the very least 60 days discover of its closure.

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