Lawsuit filed against Colortree following abrupt closure

Lawsuit filed against Colortree following abrupt closure
Colortree employees say they weren't paid Friday following the company's abrupt closure Monday (Source: NBC12)

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico envelope manufacturing plant faces a lawsuit for allegedly violating the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) with its abrupt closure on June 3.

Several former employees from the Colortree Group said they were told to pack their things and leave last week.

On Thursday, June 6, an employee filed a federal lawsuit against Colortree citing his termination without notice for the approximately 240 employees.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the WARN Act is meant to protect workers, their families and the community by requiring employers with, “100 or more employees to provide at least 60 calendar days advance written notice of a plant closing and mass layoff affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment.”

According to the Virginia Employment Commission, notice was sent June 3 stating Colortree would be closing some or all of its divisions of the Company.

Colortree President, CEO Pat Patterson notified the Virginia Employment Commission June 3 about the company laying off workers (Source: VEC)
Colortree President, CEO Pat Patterson notified the Virginia Employment Commission June 3 about the company laying off workers (Source: VEC) (Source: Virginia Employment Commission)

The lawsuit claims Colortree did not provide 60 days written notice and failed to pay employees their respective wages, salary, commission, bonuses, accrued holiday pay and accrued vacation for 60 days following their terminations.

On Friday, employees said their regularly scheduled paycheck was not deposited into their bank accounts.

"You owe it to 240 employees to at least say I'm sorry for really screwing you over," said former employee Jon Haalboom.

On Friday afternoon, NBC12 received an email from an address linked to Colortree which stated the money should be deposited Monday.

“Colortree finalized agreements with its lender and confirmed payroll was funded this afternoon,” email said. "Employees should expect their earnings will be in their bank accounts on Monday. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.”

On Monday, Haalboom said the money was finally deposited into his account around 10 a.m.

The lawsuit also seeks class action status for all of the employees who were laid off June 3.

Messages to managers with Colortree were not immediately returned.

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