HAZLETON, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Former employees of a Luzerne County company that closed without warning, have filed a federal lawsuit for money they say is owed to them by the company.
Dbi services in Hazleton abruptly shut down Friday, leaving 150 people locally, and as many as 1-thousand nationwide out of work.
A copy of the lawsuit, alleges that Dbi services violated federal law when it failed to give employees advance warning that their jobs were history.
“Terrible news for families that work at Dbi.The employees who have built up a brilliant company,” said State Senator John Yudichak.
Senator Yudichak says Dbi services may have violated the Federal Warn Act or Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
It mandates that companies give at least a 60-day notice before closing their doors or implementing mass lay-offs. Employees say they received about a 6-minute notice last Friday from the company.
Two employees filed federal lawsuits citing reasons why the company violated the warn act and seeking money they say is owed them.
Accordingly, the plaintiff and similarly situated employees are entitled to recover a judgement from the court awarding them, and against the defendant, their wages and ERISA benefits for 60 days. None of which has been paid to date.
“I support making sure we enforce the warn act, that this company is held accountable. You simply cannot walk away from the workers who built the company and you can’t walk away from the community of Hazleton,” stated Yudichak.
Dbi services released a statement on Monday citing several factors for the closure. Including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability to obtain financing for some of its projects. The company specializes in infrastructure services and maintenance for projects like highways and bridges.
“Well, it’s going to the federal district court. It could be financial penalties could be compensation to employees it could be penalties going forward in terms of state contracts they may have,” explained Yudichak.
State Representative Tarah Toohil says she and other lawmakers are trying to assist former Dbi services employees to get the money they deserve.
“We are working as a team the northeast delegation to look into why did this happen, to try to make heads or tails of it. See if there’s any remedy possible,” stated Toohil.
Employees the I-Team talked with say they did not want to appear on camera but said they are very angry about what happened.
Eyewitness News reached out to Dbi services for comment. We have not yet heard back. You can see the company’s statement they release on Monday below.
DBi Services today confirmed that due to continued operating and financial challenges, and sudden and unexpected setbacks, particularly the decision of its primary lender to discontinue all funding, the Company determined that a wind down of substantially all of its business is necessary at this time. Macroeconomic forces as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including supply chain disruptions, higher material costs and the labor shortage, coupled with increased financial requirements from sureties and lenders, impeded the Company’s ability to successfully execute and finance its projects. The Company explored every viable alternative to avoid this outcome, working together with its outside advisors, investors, lenders and sureties to try to identify a resolution to address the issues at hand and enable the Company to move forward. The Company’s Digital Traffic Systems, Inc. subsidiary, which has not experienced the same challenges, is continuing to operate and serve customers. DBi Services deeply regrets the impact on its valued employees, customers, suppliers and partners, and is working diligently to manage as smooth a transition as possible.Dbi Services