First Med employee files class-action lawsuit
The suit says that First Med violated the federal WARN act in not giving advance written notice to employees of Friday's mass layoffs
WILMINGTON, N.C. — An employee of the shuttered FirstMed EMS has filed a class-action suit against the Wilmington-based company seeking 60 days worth of wages and other compensation for about 2,000 employees who lost their jobs Friday.
The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for Eastern North Carolina, says that FirstMed violated the federal WARN act in not giving advance written notice to employees of their terminations.
WARN, which stands for the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, requires employers under certain circumstances to provide 60 days' notice of covered plant closings and mass layoffs. Though the law is a federal one, the notice would be filed with the N.C. Department of Commerce. No notice had been filed as of Tuesday.
The suit was brought by Branden Engle who worked at the company's facility in Toledo, Ohio.
Though FirstMed is named as defendant, the suit says that Enhanced Equity Fund II LLP owns all of FirstMed's shares and is the ultimate owner of the company.
FirstMed EMS was formed in 1988 and provided patient transportation in Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia through various local companies. In 2011, FirstMed expanded by acquiring American Ambulette and Ambulance Inc., Life Ambulance, MedCorp and TransMed.
The company moved its corporate headquarters to Wilmington last year and was based out of The Cotton Exchange downtown.
In addition to unpaid wages, salary, commissions and bonuses, the suit seeks accrued holiday pay, vacation pay, pension and 401(k) contributions and COBRA benefits.
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