According to the Tulsa World, which has closely followed the story since Arrow Trucking abruptly closed its doors right before Christmas, the drivers contacted attorney Charles Ercole in late December, after Arrow closed but before it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.
In July, a bankruptcy judge found the carrier violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (better known as the WARN Act). Under the WARN Act, companies with more than 100 employees are typically required to give a 60-day notice of a pending mass layoff or closure. Companies that fail to give notice may be held responsible for 60 days of wages per employee.
Under federal bankruptcy law, an employee of a bankrupt company is entitled to a priority wage claim equal to the amount of unpaid wages plus WARN Act damages not exceeding $10,950. The average wage claim of the 256 drivers is $6,172, with actual claims ranging from zero (18 drivers) up to the maximum $10,950, reports the paper.
Ercole, a lawyer with Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP in Philadelphia, was unsuccessful in his attempt to get the suit certified as a class action representing more than 1,000 Arrow employees. The lawyer is entitled to one-third of the proposed $1.58 million driver wage claim settlement, according to the paper.