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ITT Educational employees file lawsuit over sudden terminations

Indianapolis Business Journal — IBJ Staff

Two employees who were terminated Tuesday as part of mass layoff by ITT Educational Services Inc. have filed a lawsuit claiming the Carmel-based firm violated federal law by failing to provide 60-days notice.

ITT Educational announced Tuesday morning that it would permanently “discontinue academic operations” at all ITT Technical Institute campuses.

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The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of the 8,000 employees who are losing their jobs as a result of ITT Educational’s decision to shut down more than 130 ITT Technical Institute campuses in 38 states.

The lawsuit claims ITT violated the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act, or WARN Act, which requires 60 days advance written notice in the case of mass layoffs or plant closings.

The law affects employers with more than 100 employees and plant locations (or business sites) with more than 50 workers. ITT Tech campuses with fewer than 50 employees might not be responsible for following the law.

The suit also claims the layoff violates California labor laws, which also require 60 days notice during mass layoffs. ITT Educational operated 15 ITT Tech campuses in the state.

The lawsuit seeks a judgment to each affected employee equal to the sum of their “unpaid wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay, accrued vacation pay, pension and 401(k) contributions and other ERISA benefits” that would have been paid over a 60-day period.

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One of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs is Jack A. Raisner of Outten & Golden LLP of New York, who represented employees of Corinthian College, another for-profit education chain that closed down, in April 2015, after the government withdrew aid.

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