BUFFALO – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Friendly’s showed no mercy when it came to their employees Monday morning, as many showed up to work and were told to close the restaurant without notice.
Schumer, in a teleconference with reporters Wednesday afternoon, said that he believes Friendly’s may broken parts of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. The Senator called for an investigation by the Secretary of Labor, which is lead by Alexander Acosta.
“There are Federal Laws and State laws on the books called the WARN Acts, which force corporations like Friendly’s to warn employees of imminent layoffs and to give them some notice,” Schumer said. “Workers across upstate arrived to work and were told to close the store for good. No warning, no notice. That is inhuman, it’s cruel, and it shows that some of the corporations just don’t care about their workers. It is just not fair.”
Schumer said that Friendly’s isn’t above following the law.
“Friendly’s has to adhere to the Federal laws that provide their employees with the necessary updates when their employment is in imminent danger and there is no record that it happened and certainly the employees got no notice,” Schumer said.”So, the law was not implemented as it should have been and it may not have been obeyed.”
The Senator said he plans on introducing new legislation if “there are loopholes” in the WARN Act that he said Friendly’s may have utilized.
Schumer said he has been going to Friendly’s for nearly 50 years. His favorite sandwich was the BLT “topped off” with a vanilla shake.
Friendly’s released the following statement to WNYNewsNow following Schumer’s telephone interview.
“An especially difficult aspect of the tough but necessary decision to close certain restaurants was the impact it will have on the locations’ wonderful employees, who were informed of the news personally and are being supported with opportunities at other Friendly’s locations, severance payments or other assistance. Friendly’s has fully complied with all federal and state employee notice requirements.”
WNYNewsNow will continue to follow the story and provide updates when they become available.