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Zacky Farms sued by former employee, accused of not providing advance layoffs notice

The Fresno Bee— Robert Rodriguez

A former employee of family-run turkey processor Zacky Farms has filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming the company failed to give workers the required notice of layoffs prior to announcing it was closing.

Meanwhile, Zacky officials have said they tried to provide the workers as much notice as possible before deciding to shut down two weeks ago.

News of the lawsuit comes amid an announcement Wednesday the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Fresno, laid off employee Karen Vance said the company violated the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act., also known as WARN. The act requires that companies issuing a mass layoff or are closing must provide employees 60 days advance notice of their terminations.

Vance’s lawyer, Jahan Sagafi of Outten & Golden, in San Francisco is asking a federal judge to certify the lawsuit as a class-action, allowing the employment law firm to represent the other employees as a single class.

The lawsuit also alleges that Zacky failed to pay Vance and other workers: “their respective wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay and accrued vacation for 60 days following their respective terminations and failed to make the pension and 401k contributions and provide employee benefits under ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) other than health insurance for 60 days from and after the dates of their respective terminations.”

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