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Edelson Lechtzin LLP Announces the Filing of a Federal WARN Act Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of University of the Arts Faculty and Staff Who are Affected by UArts’ Sudden Closing

NEWTOWN, PA, June 5, 2024 — Edelson Lechtzin LLP, a national class action law firm, has commenced a class action lawsuit against University of the Arts in Philadelphia for alleged violations of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”) for failure to provide notice 60 days in advance of University’s closing and mass layoffs. The lawsuit also seeks an award of penalties for alleged violations of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law (“PWPCL”) A copy of the Class Action Complaint can be viewed HERE.

About University of the Arts

Dating back to 1876, the University of the Arts was formed by the merger of two institutions: Philadelphia College of Art and Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts. After attaining university status in 1987, the University of the Arts became the largest institution of its kind in the nation, offering programs in design, fine arts, media arts, crafts, music, dance, theater and writing.

What happened?

On the evening of Friday, May 31, 2024, Kerry Walk, President of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, announced that the school would be closing its doors for good on June 7th. The University also revealed that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education was withdrawing its accreditation of the University. In the wake of the University’s abrupt closure, President Kerry Walk resigned on June 4, 2024.

There is no precedent for a nonprofit college closing so abruptly, and the sudden closure of the University has left faculty and staff reeling. Thus far, the administration has provided virtually no meaningful information to UArts employs about how they plan to wind down the University’s operations. And faculty and staff have no answers to critical questions. Indeed, UArts employees don’t know when they will receive their final paycheck, when their medical benefits will terminate, or how long they will have access to university facilities like artists’ studios.

What is the lawsuit seeking?

UArts employees have asserted claims under the feral WARN Act, which requires employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered business closing or mass layoffs. Plaintiffs and other similarly situated employees of Defendant are entitled under the WARN Act to recover from Defendant their wages and ERISA benefits for 60 days, none of which has been paid. In addition, Plaintiffs seek penalties pursuant to the PWPCL.

How can I enforce my rights under the WARN Act and the PWPCL?

Edelson Lechtzin LLP has filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania seeking all available legal remedies on behalf of faculty and staff who have been harmed by the sudden closure of the University. The case is: Schutts et al v. The University of the Arts, Case No. 2:24-cv-02420-CFK (E.D. Pa.).

For more information, please contact EDELSON LECHTZIN LLP

Eric Lechtzin, Esq.

Email: [email protected]

Marc H. Edelson, Esq.

Email: [email protected]

EDELSON LECHTZIN LLP

411 S. State Street, Suite N-300

Newtown, PA 18940

Phone: 844-696-7492 or 215-867-2399 ext. 1

Web:  www.edelson-law.com

About Edelson Lechtzin LLP

Edelson Lechtzin LLP is a national class action law firm with offices in Pennsylvania and California. In addition to cases involving WARN Act violations, our lawyers focus on class and collective litigation in cases alleging securities and investment fraud, violations of the federal antitrust laws, employee benefit plans under ERISA, data breaches, wage theft and unpaid overtime, consumer fraud, and dangerous and defective drugs and medical devices.

This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions. No class has been certified in this case, so you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point.

 

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