Former workers of a now-closed Old Country Buffet in Chicago are suing for back pay compensation after the restaurant abruptly shut down in early March.
Four former employees of the shuttered Old Country Buffet, located at 6125 N. Lincoln Ave., filed a federal lawsuit in April against the restaurant's operator, Texas-based Food Management Partners.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, alleges the company failed to notify employees about the layoffs 60 days before closing the restaurant on March 7. Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, a 60-day layoff notice is required when a business closing will result in the loss of 50 or more job positions that required more than 20 hours a week.
At the now-closed Old Country Buffet on Lincoln Avenue, there were 57 employees who worked more than 20 hours a week, according to the lawsuit.
"A number of the people who worked there were employed for over ten years," said Carolyn Morales with Arise Chicago, a worker center assisting the laid off Old Country Buffet workers. "This is not high school students' part-time job. This is people's profession."