ASI Responds to Employee Allegations; Attributes December Plant Closing to Lender Issue
May 14, 2012

by Penny Stacey, pstacey@glass.com

ASI Ltd. in Whitestown, Ind., has denied many of the allegations made against it in a suit filed by a former employee who alleges that he and others were released from the company without proper notice of a plant closing as required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

In its response to the suit, ASI admits the plant did close on December 22, but alleges that it was the decision of its lender, PNC Bank, to close the facility.

Former ASI employee Andrew Shepherd had alleged that his employment with ASI was terminated with the plant closing, along with that of approximately 200 other employees, and that they were entitled to receive 60 days' advance written notice of the closing under the WARN Act.

ASI further "admits no written notice was issued prior to the plant closing," but denies that the company violated the WARN Act.
With regard to Shepherd's allegations that he and others were not paid after the closing, ASI responds as follows: "The defendant admits that it did not pay the plaintiff for work after PNC Bank closed the plant on December 22, 2011," but denies the remaining allegations related to employee pay upon the plant closure.

In addition, ASI issued several affirmative defenses to the suit in its response. Among these, the company alleges that the complaint "fails to state a cause of action against defendant upon which relief may be granted."

The company further alleges that it is excused from the requirements of the WARN Act, because "the plant closing was caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable as of the time notice would have been required."

Along similar lines, ASI claims that at the time of the closure, it "was actively seeking capital and business which, if obtained, would have enabled the employer to avoid or postpone the shutdown and ASI reasonably and in good faith believed that giving the notice required would have precluded the employer from obtaining the needed capital and/or business."

Finally, ASI alleges that Shepherd and others "suffered no actual damages" alleged in the complaint.

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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