Former ASI Employee Seeks Class Action Suit Against Company
April 5, 2011

by Sahely Mukerji, smukerji@glass.com

A former employee of ASI Ltd. in Whitestown, Ind., has initiated a class action complaint against the company alleging that he and others were released from the company due to a plant closing but without proper notice required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. Andrew Shepherd filed the suit "on behalf of himself and a class of those similarly situated" in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of Indiana.

The plaintiff was an employee of the defendant until he was terminated as part of, or as a result of a plant closing ordered by the defendant," alleges the complaint. "As such, the defendant is liable under the WARN Act for the failure to provide the plaintiff and the other similarly situated former employees at least 60 days' advance written notice of termination, as required by the WARN Act."

"On or about December 22, 2011, defendant ordered the termination of the plaintiff's employment together with the termination of approximately 200 other employees who worked at or reported to the facility as part of a plant closing, as defined by the WARN Act, for which they were entitled to receive 60 days advance written notice under the WARN Act," alleges Shepherd in the complaint.

ASI "failed to pay the plaintiff and the other similarly situated employees their respective wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay and accrued vacation for sixty (60) days following their respective terminations and failed to make 401(k) contributions and provide them with health insurance coverage and other employee benefits," the complaint further alleges.

Shepherd is seeking unpaid wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay, accrued vacation pay pension and 401(k) contributions and other ERISA benefits that he alleges would have been covered and paid under the "then-applicable employee benefit plans had that coverage continued for that period, for sixty (60) working days following the member employee's termination." He also is asking for attorneys' fees and a trial by jury.

In an interview with USGNN.com™, Shepherd further alleges that the company has changed its name in an effort to avoid the suit.

"[ASI has] now changed [its] name to Façade Tek and put [the] company in Lauren Shook['s] name," says Shepherd. Shook is former ASI owner Ken Smith's daughter, he says. "[They] told the employees that the cases would be discharged due to this happening."

Deborah J. Caruso, partner with Dale & Eke of Indianapolis, represents Façade Tek. Caruso denies this allegation. "ASI is not changing names," she says. "Façade Tek is a separately-formed incorporation that recently formed in Indianapolis."

Neither ASI's counsel, nor officials at ASI, could be reached for comment at press time.

The company has filed two motions requesting an extension of time to respond to the complaint, both of which have been granted by the court. Currently the company is due to answer the complaint on April 18.

ASI suspended operations on December 22, 2011, and allegedly resumed operations with new financial backing in mid-January.

This story is an original story by USGlass magazine/USGNN™. Subscribe to USGlass magazine.
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