Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Labor / Employment, Layoffs, Staff Layoffs

When Dewey WARN People?

The U.S. employees of Dewey & LeBoeuf received a letter today that many of them have been expecting for a long time.

It was a note warning people to prepare for the worst. It was a letter finally admitting to firm employees that “it is possible that adverse developments could ultimately result in the closure of the firm.”

So, now we’re on notice…

We have the screen cap of the transmittal letter sent to all U.S. personnel a few minutes ago by partner Stephen Horvath.

(UPDATE: See the next page, for the full PDF of the letter attached to Horvath’s email.)

This letter purports to count as the “conditional advanced notice” to all Dewey employees as required by the WARN Act. The WARN Act covers plant closings and other mass layoffs. It requires employers with more than 100 employees to give 60 days notice before closing.

UPDATE (5:52 PM): We now have the full PDF of the WARN Act notice. It’s reprinted in full on the next page.

UPDATE (5:57 PM): The timing of this WARN notice is curious. As you can see from the email, the WARN notice went out at 5:27 p.m. From a media perspective, you understand why the firm would want to bury this message after 5:00 p.m. on a Friday. But is playing media games really what you want to do right now? If they had made this announcement this morning, employees would have been able to ask important questions, in person, while still at the office.

Doing it this way, everybody has a really anxious weekend as they try to figure out what to do. But it’s not like they can really do anything until Monday. It just seems weird to dump such important information as part of a Friday news dump.

UPDATE (6:23 PM): WARN requires 60 days’ notice, but Dewey employees shouldn’t expect to just show up to work every day until Independence Day. Remember, we’ve learned from the Heller dissolution and other firms’ dissolutions that things tend to happen very quickly.

Check out the full WARN letter on the next page.

(hidden for your protection)

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