American Home Mortgage (AHM) was reportedly still hiring employees by the dozens when it crashed in the first week of August. More than 6,000 employees, including 1,300 in the company’s Melville headquarters, were let go with a single day’s notice.
“You don’t think you’re in the slaughterhouse, and then suddenly something hits you on the back of the head and you find yourself rolling down the conveyer belt,” said appraisal specialist Frank Caltabellotta, of West Islip, during an Aug. 3 mass exodus of potted-plant-bearing employees from AHM buildings. “The way it happened was very undignified.”
Two employees have responded with a lawsuit seeking 60 days of pay and benefits to fulfill the notice period prescribed by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs are trying to get the wages classified as “administrative” costs, which would move the employees’ claims from the back of the line of creditors to the front. They also are seeking class-action certification.