Falcon Transport files WARN notices

Local trucking company states it’s trying to ‘liquidate’ assets

WARREN — Eleven days after Falcon Transport Co. abruptly closed, the trucking company is “solely engaged in attempting to liquidate its assets,” according to notices it filed Tuesday with the state.

The Liberty-based company filed three notices with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services for its headquarters on Belmont Avenue, another location on Victoria Road in Austintown and a third in Lorain for 162 permanently laid-off employees.

The company provided several reasons for not meeting a federal 60-day requirement to notify employees of a mass layoff, including its largest customer — presumably General Motors Lordstown — closing several operations, new work not materializing, a ransomware attack on its computer system, lenders not advancing funds and vendors demanding payment, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter states.

The letter also states sending the notices would have impaired the company’s attempts to raise money, including negotiating for additional operating capital, selling excess equipment, negotiating the release of escrow funds from prior owners and unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a settlement payment from its largest customer.

“Sending notices earlier would have jeopardized our effort to obtain further funding,” the letter states.

The letters state 49 employees at the Belmont Avenue location would be affected, 52 drivers at the Victoria Road facility and 61 employees, including 59 drivers, at the Lorain facility.

The trucking company suddenly closed April 27, telling the employees, some of whom were truck drivers on the road, the news via email.

The company faces a federal class action complaint filed by an ex-employee of Girard who claims it violated the WARN Act’s requirements by not giving sufficient notice. Named are Falcon and Los Angeles-based private equity firm CounterPoint Capital Partners LLC, which bought the defunct trucking company in September 2017.

The act, approved by Congress in 1988, provides employees who claim they were not property notified of the mass layoff the ability to seek back pay and benefits for up to 60 days, which is what the lawsuit seeks.

The law was put into place to give workers sufficient time to find other work or retraining before losing their jobs.

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