Class action filed against SpaceX over mass layoffs

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 7, 2014

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - A class action lawsuit has been filed against Space Exploration Technologies Corp. after class members claim it did not properly notify its former employees of mass layoffs and did not pay them wages earned before termination.

The lawsuit alleges that SpaceX ordered mass layoffs of approximately 400 employees on July 21, without giving them advance notice.

Bobby R. Lee and Bron Gatling claim failing to give the employees advance notice violated California's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, according to a  complaint filed Aug. 4 in the Superior Court of California-Los Angeles County.

"Plaintiffs bring this action on their own behalf, and on behalf of other similarly situated former employees who worked for defendants and who were abruptly terminated as part of or as a result of mass layoffs ordered by defendants on...July 21...and within...30 days of that date, and who were not provided 60 days advance written notice of their terminations by defendants, as required by the California Labor Code..." the complaint states.

The plaintiffs claim California law requires any employer who orders a "mass layoff" to give the laid off employees notice of the impending layoff 60 days before the order "takes effect."

An employer who fails to provide proper notice must pay affected employees up to 60 days of average regular compensation or final rate of compensation, whichever is higher, plus civil penalties, according to the suit.

"Because defendants failed to pay plaintiffs and other similarly situated employees their wages...defendants failed to pay those employees timely after each employee's separation of employment," the complaint states.

The plaintiffs claim the proposed class is compromised of all non-exempt employees employed by the defendants at the defendants' qualifying facilities in California at any time within the four years prior to the filing of the initial complaint through the date notice is mailed to a certified class who were subject to a mass layoff or termination as defined in California Labor Code section 1400.

The defendants failed to provide timely written notice of mass layoffs and violated the California Labor Code and the California Business and Professions Code.

The plaintiffs are seeking class certification, back-pay and compensatory damages with pre-judgment interest. They are represented by Lee R. Feldman, Alicia Olivares and Leonard H. Sansanowicz of Feldman Browne Olivares.

Superior Court of California-Los Angeles County case number: BC552901

From Legal Newsline: Kyla Asbury can be reached at classactions@legalnewsline.com.

More News

The Record Network