A report by Bloomberg has brought Solyndra back into the spotlight. The now defunct company reached a US$3.5 million settlement with former workers who filed suit against Solyndra, alleging that they had not received adequate layoff notices. The settlement resolves the issue that the company did not give employees 60 days notice under the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act when it fired most of its workforce on August 31, 2011.
Solyndra plans to set up the US$3.5 million fund, which will be distributed to the workers two weeks after the settlement is effective. Bloomberg pointed out that both sides proposed the settlement, which is still subject to court approval. Fired employees can choose to opt out of the settlement while the court approval is finalized. The first of two hearings will be held on September 7.
“In light of the inherent risks and costs associated with litigation of the WARN actions, the company has determined that the proposed settlement of the WARN claims is fair and well within the range of reasonableness,” Solyndra said in settlement papers.
Before the settlement, Solyndra faced the possibility of paying as much as US$15 million in damages plus attorney’s fees if the workers suit was successful. Workers sued Solyndra the same day it filed for bankruptcy looking for two months of wages and benefits. The employees were trying to recover lost salary, bonuses, holiday pay and vacation pay, as well as retirement contributions and health and life insurance.