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Sen. Schumer asks Dept. of Labor to investigate Friendly’s sudden shutdown

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is slamming Friendly’s decision to abruptly shut down 23 restaurants, calling it “anything but friendly.”

Sen. Schumer says workers put their blood, sweat and tears into their jobs. He calls Friendly’s closing down without warning cruel and inhumane.

Friendly’s suddenly closed 23 restaurants over the weekend, including 14 in New York. Four of those 14 restaurants are in Central New York.

Sen. Schumer is now asking the Department of Labor to investigate whether the WARN law was violated. It requires companies to give employees notice before they are laid off. If the company did violate the law, Friendly’s could face fines and other penalties.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act was passed by Congress in 1988. It is designed to protect the rights of workers and employees in the U.S. It mandates that employers give their employees 60 days advanced notice of large-scale layoffs under certain circumstances. It only applies to companies with 100 employees or more. The law also stipulates that it is only necessary when 50 or more employees at a workplace are set to be terminated or if 50 or more employees are impacted by a factory closing.

Schumer says while each Friendly’s location did not cross the 50 employee threshold, when grouped together, the locations far exceeded it. Schumer has asked the Department of Labor to look into whether Friendly’s skirted the WARN Act. If not, Schumer has vowed to work to close any potential loopholes in the legislation.

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