Georgette Klinger Employees File Class Action Lawsuit in Federal Court

A Class Action Lawsuit on behalf of over 300 Georgette Klinger Spa employees was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, New Jersey, Case No. 07-20464(RG). Klinger filed for bankruptcy in about July, 2007 in the District of New Jersey because their principal office was located there. The Complaint demands Klinger pay hundreds of thousands in unpaid wages and benefits due employees. The suit, filed by attorney Susan Chana Lask (, on behalf of the employees seeks class action status to represent each of the over 300 employees affected. Should they prevail, each employee who was summarily fired would benefit.

Klinger abruptly closed its doors to employees and customers without warning on December 18, 2007, despite knowing they allegedly filed a July, 2007 bankruptcy and would close. The lawsuit holds Klinger liable for never notifying its employees 60 days before closing as mandated by federal law called the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN. WARN mandates employers with over 100 employees to give 60 days notice of a closing. 'All those dedicated employees who provided massages, facials and skin care that kept Klinger going for years will now have their day at the spa in Federal Court. They must be paid,' said Susan Chana Lask, attorney for the employees. WARN includes back pay and benefits for up to the entire 60-day period during which employees and the community should have been notified. In addition, the WARN Act provides for payment of additional penalties to the community through a civil penalty of up to $500 for each day of violation, up to the full 60-days, that notice was not given.

The Complaint alleges Klinger used the employees to work for the company up to the day of closing then shut their doors without warning and never paid them for two weeks wages. The employees lost wages and their family health insurance benefits without warning. The massive layoff violated employee rights under federal law according to the Complaint. Plaintiff Eugenia Sakharny, representing the class, wants her wages, 'We thought something was wrong when they started taking supplies off the shelves and there were no more towels for customers, but management told us everything was ok.' Presently, the Georgette Klinger case is a Chapter 7 filing in the New Jersey Bankruptcy Court. In Bankruptcy proceedings, secured creditors are first in priority to be paid, then employees are to be paid.