TSC workers sue, allege improper layoff

By Celeste Smith
Posted: Friday, Jan. 27, 2012

Charlotte Observer

A federal complaint, filed on behalf of hundreds of laid-off employees of Charlotte-based TSC Group, says the retail distributor violated federal law by terminating them without advance notice.

The complaint, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, states the company terminated approximately 380 from its facility at Rock Island, Ill., and 120 employees from its N.C. headquarters, located at Ballantyne Corporate Place.

The dismissals happened between mid-November and this week, according to the complaint, and occurred without 60 days' written notice as required under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, also called WARN. The 1988 act requires businesses with a particular number of employees to provide workers with 60 days' advance notice of layoffs.

Businesses are also required to provide the layoff notices to the state. A spokesman for the N.C. Department of Commerce said Thursday that the department did not have a WARN notice from TSC Group in its database.

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The lead plaintiff, an Illinois employee, is seeking 60 days' worth of salary, bonuses and other benefits for employees, and attorneys' fees. The complaint also requests certification as a class-action lawsuit.

According to its website, the TSC Group "is a leading company in the development, sales, marketing, distribution and service of consumer brand products to America's top retailers. TSC Group partners with product manufacturers and suppliers to provide goods and services to more than 100,000 retail client locations."