GREENSBORO — A federal judge approved a settlement reached between the former employers and employees of Yadkin Valley Community Hospital for class action claims brought by the former employees under the WARN Act. The $1,007,500.50 settlement marks the end of a nearly two-year-old dispute and will result in 142 class members receiving regular payments over the course of the next seven years.
“We feel fortunate to have the case awarded in our favor,” said former hospital employee Jeanna Simmons. “The settlement is one that is fair. The employees’ voices were heard that we miss our hospital, but at the same time that there are laws in place to protect employees from situations like this.”
Michael Kornbluth and Andrew Henson of Taibi Kornbluth Law Group and Lee Zachary of Zachary Law Offices served as counsel for the former employees who filed WARN Act claims against their former employers. Under the WARN Act, large employers are required to give written notice of at least 60 days to employees before any plant closing or mass layoff.
On May 23, 2015, the Yadkin Valley Hospital abruptly terminated its employees and closed its doors soon after an impasse in negotiations over a lease extension between the hospital owners and the Yadkin County government. Following the abrupt closure, many terminated employees of the hospital came forward to assert their rights to receive 60 days’ back pay and benefits for failure to receive timely notice of the layoffs.
“Today’s settlement brings an end to a long and painful chapter for the former employees of the Yadkin Valley Community Hospital,” said Michael Kornbluth, an attorney from Taibi Kornbluth Law Group and one of the attorneys representing the class members. “We are pleased with the result as it provides the former employees with substantial compensation for the losses they experienced. Our firm is committed to protecting the rights of working people by fervently representing their interests all across North Carolina.”
Simmons said she hopes that the case will serve as an example and will prevent other workers from going through what she and her fellow hospital staff members endured with the unexpected closure of the hospital. She also expressed her gratitude to the judge and the legal team that handled the case.
The hospital has remained closed since 2015, though several medical practices are now operating in the building. County officials say they are continuing to reopen the entire facility.