The layoffs are starting in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Wayzata Home Products LLC shuttered its business on March 13, a move that means 141 local employees lost their jobs. Details of the shutdown came to light through a company filing with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
Per the company’s letter to DEED: “Due to significant and recent unforeseeable business circumstances, including the market and financial impact of the global spread of COVID-19 (commonly referred to as ‘coronavirus’) and the company’s unsuccessful efforts to obtain additional capital investment, the company has made the decision to permanently cease all of its business operations effective today, March 13, 2020.”
The company produced cabinets for the home remodeling market under the CliqStudios brand name. Despite the company’s name, it was actually based in Edina. The company also had operations in Indiana.
The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) requires companies to file advance notice when planning to layoff 50 or more employees at a single site. The WARN Act, which doesn’t apply to part-time workers, requires that employers give at least 60 days’ notice when planning such a layoff.
But there was no advance notice about the Wayzata Home Works/CliqStudios shutdown. The company’s filing suggests that business deteriorated quickly and cites COVID-19 as a key factor.
Per the company’s letter: “While the company acknowledges that, under normal circumstances, 60 days’ advance notice of a shutdown of this nature may be required under the WARN Act, the company could not provide such notice that far in advance due to significant and recent unforeseeable business circumstances.”
On Monday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said that the state is expecting an unprecedented number of unemployment filings in the wake of his decision to close bars and restaurants.