They see your firing and raise you a $25 million lawsuit.
Two former employees of MF Global have filed a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) class-action suit against MF Global Finance USA and MF Global Holdings Ltd. on behalf of themselves and 1,066 employees laid off from the U.S. broker-dealer last Friday. The suit, filed in U.S. Bankrutpcy Court in Manhattan, alleges that MF Global failed to provide 60 days notice of layoffs as required under federal law, and also under the New York WARN Act, which mandates companies give 90 days notice. Todd Thielmann, a former floor broker in Chicago, and Pierre-Yvan Desparois, a vice president in credit risk management in New York, allege in excess of $25 million in damages as a result of the firings, which took place following the bankruptcy filing of MF Global Holdings Ltd. Oct. 31.
“It’s important to note that the lawsuit was filed against the holding company, MF Global Holdings Ltd., and not the broker-dealer,” said Kent Jarrell, spokesman for the trustee’s office that fired the employees and is liquidating the unit. “However, the trustee acted appropriately in connection with the termination of employees as part of the court-mandated liquidation and wind down of MF Global Inc.” Charles Ercole, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, said they plan to amend the lawsuit to make clear that one of the defendants is in fact the broker-dealer, MF Global Inc. The plaintiffs are suing for wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay, pension, healthcare and other benefits for 60 days (and for 90 days under the New York WARN lawsuit).