One of biggest the US furniture companies laid off nearly 3,000 workers in overnight emails and texts without severance or benefits right before Thanksgiving
- United Furniture Industries laid off 2,700 employees shortly before midnight on Monday, according to local reports.
- Staffers were terminated "without provision of COBRA," leaving them without health insurance.
United Furniture Industries, one of the largest furniture companies in the country, laid off 2,700 employees without severance or benefits, according to local reports.
The Mississippi-based company sent an email overnight just two days before Thanksgiving notifying staffers it was terminating "all employees" due to "unforeseen business circumstances" and telling them not come in for their shifts Tuesday, Victorville Daily Press reported.
A follow-up email subsequently stated that "all benefits will be terminated immediately without provision of COBRA," leaving laid-off employees without health insurance.
In the emails viewed by Victorville Daily Press, United wrote it was "forced to make the difficult decision" as a result of economic difficulties, and the terminations would be "effective immediately."
The company did not immediately respond to Insider's request to comment.
The terminations impacted employees at facilities located in Verona, Mississippi; Victorville, California; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. According to Pitchbook data cited by FreightWaves, the company has nearly 3,000 staffers in 18 facilities across those three states, as well as Vietnam.
The mass firings prompted former employee Toria Neal to file a class-action lawsuit against the company on Tuesday, alleging United violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act by not providing the required 60 days written notice of a future closure.
In the lawsuit, Neal states that the employees were fired via email and/or text message shortly before midnight on Monday, FreightWaves reported.
"It is not fair to the laborers who seriously worked so hard to be blindsided like this," an unnamed employee told FreightWaves.
The mass layoffs at the furniture company join a growing list of terminations across industries in recent weeks as a recession looms, ranging from tech giants like Meta and Twitter to fellow retailers like Amazon.
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