Lawsuit: Dewey Lays off 450 Employees

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Written By admin at Friday, May 11th, 2012

Ramin Talaie for The Wall Street Journal

UPDATE:  In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Vittoria Conn, an employee of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP who sued the law firm on Thursday,  said:

“It just would have been nice if the firm acknowledged the fact that we are human beings, not computers that need to be returned at the end of the lease. It would have been nice if they had some sense of personal investment in us.”

Ms. Conn, a document specialist at Dewey, says she and about 450 others will lose their jobs on Friday, according to a lawsuit that alleges the troubled law firm failed to give notice to the employees, as required by state and federal law.

Ms. Conn said the firm announced the mass layoff on Monday and informed employees that their last day was May 11.

Her lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Manhattan, accuses Dewey of violating a federal law that requires employers to give their employees 60 days advance written notice of their termination. The lawsuit also alleges the firm broke a state labor law that requires 90 days advance written notice.

Ms. Conn has worked at the firm for 12 years, according to her profile on social-networking site Linkedin.

A lawyer for Ms. Conn didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

A representative for the firm did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

The lawsuit estimates that 450 employees were terminated and seeks to recover up to 60 days wages and benefits on their behalf.

Dewey shed more than a third of its partnership since the start of the year. The firm has a heavy debt load and in recent days bank lenders appear to have taken control of the firm’s finances.

A large group of associate attorneys was told that May 15 would be their last day with the firm.


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