Court rules against ex-Beloit Corp. workers
A federal court in Wilmington, Del., has rejected the claim of 378 former Beloit Corporation employees who believe they were unlawfully denied severance pay when the company closed its doors.
The workers were laid off in 1999 and 2000.
The defendant in the case was Milwaukee-based Joy Global, the former Harnischfeger Industries, which owned Beloit Corporation.
Harnischfeger filed for bankruptcy in 1999. Joy Global is now profitable.
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development backed the workers’ claim and took the company to court.
“The decision is very lengthy, and we are still reviewing it. Any decisions about an appeal will be made at a later date,” according to a letter from Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Charlotte Gibson.
The case involves non-union employees, each of whom claimed he or she was owed at least several thousand dollars, a Department of Workforce Development spokesman said in March.
Sen. Judy Robson, D- Beloit, has advocated for the workers.
“My heart goes out to the employees who waited patiently and held out hope all these years that justice would be done,” Robson said in a statement.
“Just weeks ago, Joy Global reported that it expects to end 2010 with earnings of $3.35 billion. It’s a shame that the company would not take a tiny, tiny fraction of their profits and pay these workers what was due them,” Robson said.