American Lafrance abrupt closing calls Warn Act into question - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

American Lafrance abrupt closing calls Warn Act into question

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American Lafrance, a fire truck maker in Moncks Corner, closed its doors Friday afternoon with no notice for the estimated 150 employees now found jobless.

In response to the sudden closing the company issued a statement that ended by saying, "Unfortunately, the company's unexpected current financial condition requires the discontinuation of operations in these locations at this time and these facilities are not expected to reopen."

With no warning on the closure, the company could be in violation of the Warn Act, requiring 60 days notice of a plant closure that affects 100 or more people. News 2 spoke with local attorney David Aylor Monday afternoon, to discuss how the wording of that statement may give American Lafrance it's way out of the Warn Act.

Related: American LaFrance closes down, not expected to reopen

"Essentially in reading the Warn Act and the brief statement they put out, it really does come down to the fact that it alleges there are unforeseen circumstances which brought the abrupt closing. And if that is the case, they may be able to opt out of that 60 day notice that they didn't give," explains Aylor.

But could the company truly not know beforehand that they were closing their doors? "There are a number of things that come into play. Obviously without us knowing the inside, we don't know exactly what the final terms were but sometimes it's a situation where they are trying to get more funding from another source or hard-money loan, and if all those routes fail, then essentially they could literally be at the point of no return when they cant function anymore as a company."

"That is a potential. However, speaking to what you are saying, a lot of the public is going to wonder are these not things that were writing on the wall ahead of time."

American Lafrance also closed two other plants Friday afternoon, one in Pennsylvania, the other in Los Angeles.

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