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Administaff v. New York Joint Board

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
337 F.3d 454 (5th Cir. 2003)


Facts

Administaff Companies, Inc. (Administaff) (defendant) provided personnel and human-resources services to TheCustomShop.com Inc. (TCS), the owner of a clothing-production plant in New Jersey. Under their agreement, Administaff provided TCS with employees and was responsible for paying the employees’ salaries and wages. TCS was responsible for other payments, such as commissions and bonuses. Although Administaff acted as a co-employer in order to allow the employees to obtain benefits through Administaff’s policies, the employees worked solely for TCS. Administaff retained the right to hire or terminate employees but otherwise had no responsibility over the operation of TCS’s business. In 2000, TCS began experiencing financial difficulties and was unable to overcome those difficulties. TCS closed the New Jersey plant without providing 60 days’ notice to the employees as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), 29 U.S.C. § 2101, et seq. Administaff was unaware of TCS’s decision until after the decision was made. The New York Joint Board (Board) (plaintiff), which was the union for the plant employees who had been laid off, sued Administaff for violating the notice requirement of the WARN Act and sought back pay and benefits. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Administaff. The Board appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jones, J.)

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