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MF Global trustees ask judge to dismiss improper termination lawsuit

The bankrupt firm allegedly fired more than 1,000 employees with no advance notice and no severance pay

Trustees responsible for liquidating bankrupt broker-dealer MF Global asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit over the firm’s purportedly improper firing of employees.

The workers claim that MF Global violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act by firing 1,066 workers without giving them 60 days’ advance written notice. Several of the disgruntled employees sued the brokerage in November 2011, seeking 60 days of wages and benefits.

But Louis Freeh and James Giddens, the MF Global trustees, told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn Wednesday that the WARN Act does not apply in this case, because liquidating companies are not considered employers. They asked Judge Glenn to dismiss the case, but he deferred a ruling, asking for more information about the employees’ duties and places of work.

MF Global collapsed suddenly last October, after which an estimated $1.6 billion in customer-segregated funds were found to be missing. When bad bets on European debt caused a shortfall at the firm, regulators believe it dipped into customer funds in an effort to stave off bankruptcy.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of MF Global, see:

MF Global corporate trustee confident that customers’ funds will be returned

MF Global GC will testify tomorrow at House hearing

MF Global customer says entire $50 million account missing

7 banks targeted over MF Global collapse

FBI probe continues MF Global’s downward spiral

MF Global’s customer account discrepancies spur regulatory probe

Alanna Byrne

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