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Computer programmer files $5m suit against Lehman

06 November 2008  |  5734 views  |  0 chessboard

Lehman Brothers has been hit with a $5 million lawsuit filed on behalf of over 100 former employees by a computer programmer who was laid off by the failed investment bank.

Miron Berenshteyn, who worked as a senior java developer in Jersey City, filed the suit in a New York bankruptcy court on Tuesday on behalf of people who lost their jobs in a round of layoffs on 9 September.

Most worked at, or reported to, Lehman's data centre in Jersey City or its Manhattan headquarters.

Lawyers from Outten & Golden, representing Berenshteyn, say Lehman violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act, which they argue requires 60 days advance notice in writing of a layoff.

Staff were told on 9 September they would be paid for 60 more days but were not required to work. But Jack Raisner from Outten & Golden told the Associated Press that Lehman stopped paying the staff before the 60 days were up.

The suit seeks 60 days pay and benefits as well as severance pay of one week's wages for every year worked.

If the class is certified it could include around 1000 ex-employees and be worth more than $5 million.

Lehman filed for bankruptcy on 15 September. Its North American brokerage business was later acquired by Barclays. The UK bank has been reportedly dishing out pink slips to fixed income and IT support staff at Lehman's North American brokerage operations, beginning early last month. According to Fortune Magazine up to 3000 staff will lose their jobs by the end of the year.

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