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Help! My Employer Filed Bankruptcy

Posted by David Leibowitz on February 1st, 2009 in Business Bankruptcy, Chapter 11,

When an employer files bankruptcy, it is vital that employees take steps to protect themselves.  Illinois and Wisconsin companies have been filing for bankruptcy.  Here are some of the biggest lately:

  • Tribune Company
  • Hart Schaffner & Marx
  • Kimball Hill Homes
  • Wisconsin Steel Industries
  • Circuit City

It’s certain that more will file.

What do you do as an employee to protect yourself?  Here are some important steps to take:

  • Verify your rights under the Summary Plan Description of your pension or profit sharing plan
  • Confirm that the company is continuing to administer your benefit plan while in bankruptcy
  • If your company has filed for bankruptcy under chapter 7, get in touch with the chapter 7 trustee and be sure that the trustee is taking over the plan as required by law
  • File a proof of claim to be sure you get the priority wage claim to which you are entitled
  • If your plant has closed without the benefits of the WARN Act, file a claim in the bankruptcy case and contact the Department of Labor.

The US Department of Labor has published a fact sheet for employees whose companies have gone into bankruptcy.

Lakelaw helps employees in Illinois and Wisconsin whose employees have gone into bankruptcy.   If your company filed a bankruptcy case somewhere other than Illinois, you can find attorneys in that area at Bankruptcy Law Network.


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