Judge Says COVID-19 Justified Short-Notice Art Van Layoffs

By Rick Archer (March 21, 2022, 8:11 PM EDT) -- A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Monday dismissed claims that bankrupt home furnishing retailer Art Van Furniture broke federal law when it laid off 700 workers with nearly no notice, saying the business had been struck with an unforeseeable setback in the form of COVID-19.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi issued a summary judgment for the defense, saying in his opinion that the layoffs did not violate the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act because they were a response to the "unforeseen business circumstance" of nationwide orders shutting down nonessential businesses amid the "natural disaster" of the pandemic.

"The undisputed facts...

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