Owing to severe financial constraints, Arrow Trucking Co. executives closed the company's corporate offices in Tulsa on December 22 last year. Company lenders immediately canceled drivers' fuel credit cards, which left hundreds of them stranded across the country and without money to get home. The drivers didn't know whether the company would obtain alternative financing or pay them for unpaid wages.
Arrow eventually filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the bankruptcy trustee estimates that it has assets of $8.55 million and liabilities of nearly $100 million.
The former drivers sued for their wages, with 256 of them just reaching agreement with the trustee in a proposed $1.58 million settlement that must be approved by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge.
The drivers' claim was made pursuant to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act ("WARN"), which stipulates that companies employing more than 100 workers must give their employees 60 days' written notice of a company closing and the termination of their contracts. The WARN Act states that failure to provide the required notice can make a company liable for 60 days of wages per employee.
Bankruptcy law provides that an employee is entitled to a priority wage claim that is equal to the amount of owed unpaid wages plus WARN Act damages not exceeding $10,950. The drivers' claims ranged from zero to the maximum amount of $10,950, with the average claim being $6,172.
Related Resource: www.tulsaworld.com "Arrow drivers settle for $1.58 million" October 2, 2010