It's a situation that most fear you walk into your job and they tell you it's your last day. That is basically what happened to Bake-Line workers back in January of 2004, but one woman didn't just let the company have the last say.
Former Bake-Line employees in South Beloit were told to go home on January 12, 2004. Months later 176 signatures had been collected and former workers filed a complaint against the company. The cookie and cracker making company had about 300 employees working there at the time.
Karen Spangenberg took the matters into her own hands. She contacted a lawyer and started doing some research. Soon she and about 175 former Bake-Line employees will split a $600,000 settlement.
Karen says, "I didn't want people to feel that companies can close the door and you are out of luck. There is something you can do and there are places that will help."
With the help of New York attorney Stuart Little, Karen and the other plaintiff’s filed a complaint against Bake-Line. The cookie and cracker company is accused of violating the WARN act, which requires a business to give employees 60 days' notice when they will be laid off or lose their jobs.
Karen stated, "What they did was not right and I don't think hard working employees should suffer."
If a Delaware bankruptcy court, a company trustee and the plaintiffs all approve the proposed settlement each worker would receive roughly over $3,000.
Karen says, "We felt we were owed something. It's a fair deal for us and we deserve it."
It’s just a small price for the company to pay workers who spent twenty plus years on the job. Bake-Line workers did not receive their last week of pay, and those who did their checks bounced. Efforts are still being made to get that last pay check.