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Foxtrot and Dom's workers sue companies over abrupt store closures, layoffs

Attorney says abrupt closure of Foxtrot, Dom's may have violated labor law
Attorney says abrupt closure of Foxtrot, Dom's may have violated labor law 02:45

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Former workers at Foxtrot Market and Dom's Kitchen & Market sued the stores' parent company on Wednesday, following the groceries' abrupt closures, accusing management of failing to give employees the required notice of layoffs or proper severance pay.

The federal lawsuit filed in Chicago claims Outfox Hospitality violated federal and state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Acts when it abruptly closed all Foxtrot and Dom's stores on Tuesday and laid off workers without warning.

Both laws require employers to provide at least 60 days' notice before mass layoffs. The lawsuit, which seeks class action status for all Dom's and Foxtrot employees, seeks 60 days of severance pay and benefits for laid off workers.

The named plaintiff in the lawsuit, Jamil Ladell Moore, said he learned of the layoffs in the middle of his shift around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Foxtrot store in Old Town.

Monica Perez, who worked at the Dom's store in Lincoln Park, said she and her coworkers learned of the closings when they showed up at work on Tuesday.

"We just got here, and apparently everything is closing," she said, "so a lot of people — everyone here — are out of work now."

Perez and her coworkers reminisced Tuesday afternoon outside the Dom's store in Lincoln Park. The store had regularly been packed with people buying pricey items, a signal to employees of a strong future. Instead, all the employees were blindsided before work.

"I didn't even get a call from a manager," said Perez. "I showed up like a regular day."

The lawsuit claims no Foxtrot or Dom's workers received the required 60 days' notice of the layoffs, or any severance pay or benefits.

Foxtrot and Dom's had announced a merger six months before the abrupt closures, under the parent company Outfox Hospitality.

The closures affected both Dom's locations in Chicago, and all 33 Foxtrot stores in Chicago, Texas, and the Washington D.C. area.

Delivery was halted, mobile apps went dark, and store credit cards were cut off. All Foxtrot and Dom's account credits and member perks were voided, effective Tuesday.

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