NEWS11 June 2009

ICT calls for dismissal of ex-employees’ claims

Legal North America

US— ICT Group has denied that former employees of a market research call centre in Pennsylvania are entitled to compensation for the short-notice closure of the facility last year.

ICT’s data collection company is being sued by Charles Smith, a member of staff who was laid off just before Christmas.

Smith claims he and 100 others should have been given 60 days’ notice of the closure under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. He argues that in the absence of the required notice period, he is entitled to pay equal to 60 days’ wages as well as other benefits.

But in a motion to dismiss filed this week, ICT argues that the WARN Act’s provisions for plant closures or mass lay-offs do not apply in this case as fewer than 50 full-time employees had their contracts terminated.

ICT said while 76 staff lost their jobs, only 43 of those were full-time.

In a sworn affidavit, the company’s vice president and general counsel Sally Howe said: “We acknowledge that we did not provide 60 days’ notice of termination but aver that such notice was not required under the WARN Act or any other state or federal regulation.”

ICT has asked the court to dismiss Smith’s claims with prejudice. The company no longer offers market research services, having withdrawn from the business following a slump in research call volumes last year.