WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer Wednesday Department of Labor to the abrupt closure of 14 upstate friendly restaurants – including four in Western New York – saying the company may have violated federal law by not warning employees that they were about to lose their jobs.
"What went down with these restaurants is anything but friendly to so many upstate workers, and we have to get to the bottom of it, "Schumer, a New York Democrat, duty reporters in a conference call.
Schumer said each of the closed restaurants last weekend employed 30 to 60 people. That means the closure of the local Friendly's outlets – in Amherst, Lancaster, Hamburg and Jamestown ̵
The Labor Secretary, Alex Acosta, who is the federal government should investigate to the Friendly's closures violated the federal Worker Adjustment and Retirement Notification (WARN) Act. That 1988 law mandates that companies with more than 100 employees give workers 60 days notice of impending layoffs, but that requirement only applies to individual workplaces where more than 50 people are employed.
" workers who were shocked to arrive at their jobs and abruptly duty to close up shop, "wrote Schumer.
Friendly's closes four area restaurants
If friendly's did not violate the law, Schumer said the warn act may need to be expanded to protect workers at smaller places of employment. that might do that, "Schumer said.
Closing the restaurants, the company fully compiled with all federal and state employee notice requirements, said Hannah Arnold, a friendly's spokeswoman.
" 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 were supported with opportunities at other friendly locations, severance payments or other assistance, "Arnold said.
Friendly CEO George Michel said the 14 closures in New York, along with nine others elsewhere in the Northeast, reflect the company's response to "shifting demographics and consumer preferences, increased compe tition, and rising costs. ”
The local restaurants that were closed were located at 6651 Transit Road, Lancaster, just north of the Thruway; 4350 Maple Road, Amherst, near the University at Buffalo's North Campus; 3540 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg, near the McKinley Mall; and 10 S. Main St., Jamestown.