Make us your home page

Employee class-action lawsuit latest bad news for troubled Avantair

CLEARWATER — Troubled private plane provider Avantair has been hit with another class-action lawsuit, this one filed in federal court on behalf of recently furloughed employees.

A member of the company's board of directors also resigned, and the company recently announced to its customers that it is working on a new business model, seeking relief from its vendors and looking for new sources of funding to get its fleet of private planes flying again.

The federal lawsuit, filed Friday by Clearwater attorney Ryan Barack, alleges that the company's decision last week to furlough around 500 pilots and other employees violated the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

Also known as the WARN Act, it requires employees be given 60 days advance notice prior to mass layoffs. Barack characterized the company's second furloughs in eight months as layoffs, and said around two dozen employees have already joined the suit.

"If you stop paying someone," Barack said. "That's a layoff."

The lawsuit also seeks lost wages after the company announced last week it would not pay for time worked since June 8. And the lawsuit said the company's officers can be held personally liable for violations of minimum wage and overtime laws.

On Thursday, Stephanie Cuskley told Avantair's board of directors that she was stepping down from the board due to "personal reasons." On Friday, the company released a statement saying that Avantair's "must restructure its affairs to emerge healthy and able to resume profitable operations." The company is already facing a class-action lawsuit filed in Oklahoma for loss of air service that could be joined by hundreds of other customers.

Employee class-action lawsuit latest bad news for troubled Avantair 07/01/13 [Last modified: Monday, July 1, 2013 6:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Controversial landfill site could be rechristened as industrial recruiting land in Pasco

    Economic Development

    The east Pasco property of Angelo's Aggregate Materials, which failed to obtain a state environmental permit to be developed as a garbage landfill, is being studied as a potential 1,000-acre mega site for industrial recruitment.

  2. Marriott opening new hotel on Clearwater Beach


    CLEARWATER BEACH — A dual-branded Marriott hotel with a tongue-twister name is opening on Clearwater Beach in August. The Residence Inn Tampa Clearwater Beach and SpringHill Suites Tampa Clearwater Beach will have 255 suites total, connected by a lobby.

    A dual-branded Marriott hotel called the Residence Inn Tampa Clearwater Beach and SpringHill Suites Tampa Clearwater Beach will open in August in Clearwater Beach. Pictured is a rendering.
[Courtesy of Hayworth PR]
  3. Irish 31 brings flair, flavor to Wiregrass


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery opened its fifth location at The Shops at Wiregrass earlier this month.

    hillsevbiz072117: Irish 31 has opened at the Shops at Wiregrass with a warm, wood decor. Photo courtesy of Irish 31.
  4. Family fun featured at Lutz-area ice cream shop


    LUTZ — For Joe Schembri, ice cream reminds him of fun times he spent with his family as a child.

    hillsevbiz072117: Joe Schembri has opened the Ice Dreamery in Lutz. Photo courtesy of Joe Schembri.
  5. Clean Eatz offers low-cal options in South Tampa


    Inside Clean Eatz, almost everything is under 500 calories.

    Clean Eatz will offer healthy dining options in South Tampa. Photo courtesy of Clean Eatz.