Vanderbilt Medical Center hit with class action lawsuit - WSMV Channel 4

Vanderbilt Medical Center hit with class action lawsuit

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Days after Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced another round of layoffs, the hospital has been hit with its first class action suit.

George Barrett and Jerry Martin, a former U.S. attorney, filed the complaint Thursday on behalf of hundreds of laid-off workers.

They claim Vanderbilt violated the WARN Act when it fired those employees without notice back in July.

"They were literally told to clean out their locker and go home. That day," Martin said. "So, the reason - we would suspect that the reason - is because it saved Vanderbilt a tremendous amount of money in the short term."

Under the federal statute, companies laying off 500 workers or more must give them a 60-day notice.

And while fewer than 500 were fired in July, the attorneys claim the terminations were part of a much larger reduction and therefore fall under that act. They want Vanderbilt to pay each of those workers 60 days of back pay.

Workers laid off this week are not part of this class action complaint.

Vanderbilt administrators say they have to eliminate more than 1,000 jobs by the end of the year to help reduce operating costs by $250 million for the 2015 fiscal year.

We asked Vanderbilt about the complaint, and a spokesperson with the hospital issued this statement:

"We have not yet seen this lawsuit. We will reserve comment until we have been served and our counsel has had the opportunity to review the complaint."

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