Four Gibraltar Employees Sue Over Layoffs

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Four former Gibraltar Savings employees have filed a lawsuit against Gibraltar, Security Pacific National Bank and the Resolution Trust Corp., alleging that workers should have received 60 days written notice before losing their jobs when Security Pacific agreed to acquire the Simi Valley-based thrift.

The suit, filed Friday in federal court in Los Angeles, says that at least 50 former Gibraltar employees were not given the 60 days written notice required by the Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act. The federal law requires employers of 100 or more workers to notify employees in writing 60 days before mass layoffs.

The workers lost their jobs after Los Angeles-based Security Pacific agreed June 27 to acquire Gibraltar from the RTC, the federal agency charged with selling the thrift after it was seized by federal regulators in March, 1989.

Howard Z. Rosen, the plaintiffs' attorney, said both Security Pacific and the RTC were named in the suit because it isn't clear if Security Pacific was technically the owner of Gibraltar at the time of the layoffs, even though the acquisition had already been announced.

Security Pacific spokeswoman Deborah Lewis said Security Pacific isn't liable for damages because "the RTC is responsible for any liability in regard to the WARN Act." Security Pacific also maintains that it did not lay off the Gibraltar workers because they were never employed by Security Pacific.

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