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South Carolina Advisory: Workers Sue Toyota Plant For Fair Severance Package

In California, former workers from a closed Toyota Plant filed suit against the Plant ownership and its parent company Toyota, claiming they were denied severance packages due to the fact they had to take leave from work because of on-the-job injuries. The suit seeks a revised severance agreement, restitution, lost compensation, other employee benefits and monetary damages. because more than 300 of the plants 4700 employees were claimed to be affected by this, the suit will be filed as a class action lawsuit. The Plant is located in Menlo park, Ca outside of Oakland.

The Plant was established as a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota in 1984. GM backed out of the Plant last year after filing for bankruptcy protection. Toyota produced the Corolla model sedan and Tundra pickup truck there. Because of GM’s withdrawal, Toyota claimed they were unable to finance the factory and decided to close the plant. The plant workers were not the only ones to suffer from the economic blight caused by the factories closing. Thousands of workers in support industries that sustained both the Plant and its workers were affected by the sudden withdrawal of their main source of business.

The assembly workers were given a union mandated payout of over $21,000 at the close of the factory, however workers who worked continuously for 6 months prior to the shuttering received enhancements that added up substantially. The lawyer for the Workers claims that his clients are taking a large hit to their income without the addition of these enhancements. Enhancement value could total up to more than $32,000 dollars individually. The attorney stated “”Some of these people had worked there 25 years and were injured in the last six months,” “We allege they’re being discriminated against with respect to their severance because of their disability.

The lawsuit also alleges that the workers were denied the ability to take advantage of some of the benefits that Toyota provided for career enhancement. Further more, it is claimed that many were denied employment even after a medical professional approved them to return to work. The plant spokesman said in response “the factory “has always prided itself on treating its team members with respect and fairness and we believe we’ve done so in this situation.” Toyota’s corporate policy is not to comment on ongoing litigation.

As far as these claims go, South Carolina Worker’s Compensation attorneys believe very strongly in the fair treatment of workers and the effective and quick settlement of any disputes between management and workers in a given situation. Hopefully, the situation will be resolved in the most efficient and fair manner possible for both parties.

Source: The State, “Former workers at Calif. plant sue Toyota, factory” ,By Brooke Donald , July 27th, 2010

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