SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Nationwide law firm Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe fired more than 100 employees in violation of the WARN Act, the workers say in a federal class action. Heller Ehrman is closing shop, victims of the nation’s economic hard times.
Plaintiffs say the law firm told workers on Oct. 3 that they would not be paid for accrued but unused vacation time. The firm fired more than 100 employees on Oct. 10 and hundreds more on Oct. 17, the complaint states. It informed many others that their last day will be Nov. 28.
Heller Ehrman was one of several big law firms mentioned in a Monday story in the Washington Post. The Post reported that major firms’ corporate clients are ordering them to reduce their billings, as the nation struggles through a credit crisis and recession. Heller Ehrman was founded in 1890 “and specialized in big litigation,” the Post reported. “It collapsed in part because it was unable to replace income from several cases that were settled and after some of its key lawyers were hired away by other firms, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. The official said about 80 people worked in the D.C. office,” according to the Post.
Plaintiffs in the employment class action are represented by Matthew Helland with Nichols Kaster.