Bankrupt Louisiana hospital faces lawsuit over layoff notification

A former employee of Louisiana Heart Hospital in Lacombe has filed a lawsuit alleging the hospital violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act when it laid off employees without proper notice.

Louisiana Heart Hospital and its affiliated medical group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late January after years of financial troubles. Officials announced Jan. 30 that the hospital will close by the end of this month.

Barbara Kusnick, a former project planner and data analyst at Louisiana Heart Hospital, filed an adversary action Feb. 5 in the hospital's bankruptcy case. She claims the hospital violated the WARN Act when she and other employees were laid off.

Ms. Kusnick alleges she received a termination notice by mail on Feb. 2. She claims she went to work on Feb. 3 and was told that afternoon she was terminated.

"Such termination fails to give plaintiff and other similarly situated employees of defendants at least 60 days' advance notice of termination, as required by the WARN Act," according to the complaint.

Ms. Kusnick brought the suit on behalf of herself and all other employees who were laid off without being given proper notice. She is seeking class-action certification of the lawsuit. 

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