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Fired Sizmek Employee Files Class Action In Ch. 11 Case

Law360 - Rick Archer

Bankrupt advertising tech firm Sizmek Inc. has been hit by a proposed class action complaint in New York bankruptcy court claiming it laid off dozens of employees from its Manhattan office without warning in January.

Ex-Sizmek employee Jared McKinley Kreiner claimed in a complaint filed Thursday that he and at least 50 others were laid off by the firm on Jan. 31, without the 60-day warning required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

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In the adversary action, Kreiner, who said he was employed at Sizmek’s Manhattan office as a communications manager, claimed he and at least 50 other employees at the office were laid off without the advance notice required by the federal WARN act and a similar New York State law.

The federal act requires businesses with 100 employees or more to give 60 days’ written notice of any layoffs of 50 or more full-time employees from a single site, while New York law requires 90 days’ notice.

In a phone interview Friday, Jack Raisner, one of the counsel for Kreiner, said he did not know exactly how many employees were laid off.

“We just don’t know. They’ve been laying people off continually from the New York office and they’ve been laying off people from one California office,” he said.

The federal WARN Act does allow an exception if employers can show a good-faith belief that providing notice would interfere with attempts to raise capital or business needed to avoid a shutdown, but Raisner said it was too early to say if that defense would apply in this case.

“In our experience most times the company does not fit into that narrow defense,” he said.

Counsel for Sizmek did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.

Kreiner is represented by Jack A. Raisner and René S. Roupinian of Outten & Golden LLP.

Sizmek is represented by Steven J. Reisman, Cindi M. Giglio, Jerry L. Hall and Peter A. Siddiqui of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

The adversary complaint is Jared McKinley Kreiner v. Sizmek Inc., case number 19-01116, and the underlying bankruptcy case is In re: Sizmek Inc., case number 19-bk-10971, both in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

--Additional reporting by Alex Wolf. Editing by Jack Karp.