Washington state attorney general Bob Ferguson said Tuesday his office struck a deal with the struggling grocery chain about paying laid-off workers promptly, after the company asked a bankruptcy court for a waiver from “fast pay” laws.
Washington state attorney general Bob Ferguson said Tuesday his office struck a deal with struggling grocery chain Haggen to make sure laid-off staffers in the state get paid on time.
Haggen, which filed for bankuptcy protection on Sept. 8, last week asked the court for a waiver from so-called “fast pay” laws that require employees to be paid either at their termination or only a few days after.
The company said the “sweeping nature” of its store closings — 127 of its 164 stores — will result in widespread layoffs that might overwhelm payroll systems, so paying employees could “easily take several days” despite its intention to pay “as expeditiously as possible.”
Haggen’s voluntary agreement with the state’s attorney general means it will pay laid-off workers in Washington on “the next scheduled pay day,” Ferguson said in a statement.
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Last week Haggen said it was closing 14 stores in Washington, triggering layoffs of some 1,073 workers around the state. That’s in addition to a previous layoff of 62 workers at a store in Spanaway that was part of an earlier round of cuts.
The layoffs will start on Nov. 24, according to a filing with the state Employment Security Department (ESD). An ESD spokeswoman said the agency will help Haggen and affected employees with the transition.