Allegheny Wood Products didn’t give proper notice before shutting down, lawsuit says

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A former employee of a West Virginia hardwood producer says the company did not give proper notice before ordering mass layoffs and shutting down last month, according to a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed Friday by James Beane of Princeton against Allegheny Wood Products seeks class-action status, unspecified damages, and civil penalties.

Beane said he and other company workers at multiple locations were terminated effectively immediately on Feb. 23.

The lawsuit alleges violations of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, also known as WARN, which requires companies to provide 60 days’ notice if they have at least 100 full-time workers. It also alleges violations of state wage payment law.

An official for the state’s unemployment agency told lawmakers last month that about 900 workers were affected.

A company official did not return a telephone message seeking comment.

Founded in 1973 with one sawmill in Riverton, West Virginia, Allegheny Wood Products grew to eight sawmills in the state and touted itself as one of the largest producers of eastern U.S. hardwoods.

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