Fisker Hit With Federal Lawsuit After Massive Layoffs

Well, that didn't take long. Mere hours after laying off most of their employees, beleaguered Fisker Automotive was hit with a federal lawsuit from their now ex-workforce alleging that the company failed to give advance notice of the layoffs as required by law.

Automotive News reported this morning that Friday's layoffs — which claimed a whopping 160 employees out of Fisker's formerly 210-person strong workforce — came without a 60-day warning time that the employees allege is required by the U.S. Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Fisker also broke California law in doing so, they say. From the story:

The 60-day notification requirement in the WARN law offers exceptions for a "faltering company" and for "unforseeable business circumstances," but the employer must prove those conditions have been met, according to government guidelines on the 1989 federal law.

In addition, the Fisker employees say that they were not given severance pay besides compensation for unused vacation days.

Here's another interesting tidbit from Automotive News' story: the law firm retained by the former Fisker workers is the same one that successfully sued failed government-backed solar panel maker Solyndra for doing pretty much the same thing. More than a few news outlets have called Fisker the "new Solyndra" since both received substantial support in the form of U.S. Department of Energy loans.

Speaking of which, Fisker is getting close to the deadline for repaying some of the $193 million loaned to it by the government. The company is probably over, but their troubles are just beginning.

Photo credit AP