WASHINGTON – On the heels of abrupt closures of 14 Friendly’s restaurants across Upstate New York, Senator Charles Schumer is urging the federal Department of Labor (DOL) to investigate the manner by which New York workers were let go by the Friendly’s Corporation.
According to reports, workers were in the dark and arrived at their jobs only to be told to shut the doors—for good.
Schumer said this swath of abrupt corporate-ordered closures demands answers from Friendly’s—and from the feds. Schumer also said the circumstance of these abrupt layoffs raises critical questions around the rights of New York service workers who are employed by larger corporations.
“No matter how you look at it, the way these abrupt closures and sudden firings went down was anything but friendly to Upstate workers,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “As a major corporation, Friendly’s must adhere to federal laws that provide their employees with necessary updates when their employment is in imminent danger, but it doesn’t look like that happened here. Or maybe there was a way to skirt those rules?”
Schumer said the Friendly’s restaurant closures across Upstate New York were a shock to both employees and customers, and cited numerous media reports across Upstate documenting the situation. Schumer urged the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to investigate if any WARN laws were skirted and to determine whether or not service workers in corporate service employment need better protections.
“Bottom line, people have a lot of questions, including me, and the feds should provide some answers. This kind of unannounced, mass layoff shouldn’t happen to any worker without fair notice, so it is up to the feds to investigate the manner by which Upstate workers were notified of layoffs and determine if better employee protections are needed within the service industry. If the latter is true, I will be the first to pursue a legislative fix in Congress.”
Schumer said that if an investigation determines service worker protections in corporate structures require reforms, he will be the first to raise the issue in Congress. Schumer said it does not appear Friendly’s Corporation filed any notices with the federal government, but that given the aggregate number of workers impacted, they likely should have notified the feds.
A total of 14 restaurants where closed this week in New York, including the one in Jamestown.