Thelen has identified 240 former associates and staff who could assert claims alleging the firm violated the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act by failing to pay adequate wages and vacation time over its December 1st, 2008 dissolution.
Thelen announced its dissolution on October 30th, and laid off most of its employees on November 30th.
The suit, filed November 24th by three former associates and one former staff member, alleges that under the WARN Act Thelen should have paid its employees their salaries, bonuses and other compensation, plus allowed for 401(k) contributions and health insurance coverage, during the 60 days following the initial announcement of its dissolution.
The employees also are seeking unpaid vacation pay.
If successful the plaintiffs, who are seeking class certification, could obtain an award of several million dollars.
In a list provided by Thelen, about 240 former employees — 60 associates, 20 counsel and 163 staff members — are identified as putative members of the class.
Steven Blum of Los Angeles-based Blum Collins, who represents the plaintiffs, said that list doesn’t include California employees, who could number hundreds more.