By on April 8, 2013

On Friday, Fisker fired most of its rank-and-file employees, 160 out of a total 210, and promptly got into hot water for doing so.  The law firm Outten & Golden filed a class-action lawsuit for not giving employees a 60-day notice under California’s WARN act.

“We contend Fisker ordered mass layoffs on or about April 5, 2013 without providing its employees with advance written notice. The Case is pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California,” says Outten & Golden’s website. The firm is seeking 60 days wages and benefits for former employees. The wheels of justice better move fast. Siliconbeat says that “many speculate that Fisker could file for bankruptcy as early as Monday.”

According to Reuters, the 160 fired were told that the company could not afford to give them severance payments. 53 senior managers and executives were asked to stay on board, “primarily to pursue buyers for the company’s assets,” Reuters says.

The Outten & Gol;den lawfirm is the same that sued ill-fated Solyndra, another fine example of government investments into green technologies. Green as the color of tax payer money.

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17 Comments on “Fisker Fires Workers, Gets Sued...”

  • avatar

    Ha, ha, good ole People’s Republic of Kalifornia. Unless you’re big and powerful enough to sidestep and otherwise manipulate PRK law for your own ends (Apple, Google, etc.) why ever bother starting a company, let alone staying, in PRK? Also, this is a premonition for Tesla.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not just Cali, but all government, everywhere. Last year, a British Airways 747 taking off from L.A. to London had one of its four engines catch fire and burn to a crisp. The tower asked if they wanted to return to the airport, but they had fuel for the 8,000 mile trip, $40,000 worth, they would have to dump in the ocean to meet FAA regulations before landing. That would trigger a large fine from EPA for polluting the ocean while complying with FAA regulations. In addition, they would have been considered late by the European equivalent of the FAA agency and would have been fined for aborting the flight for a safety check. The 747 was designed to military specs and can easily fly with only two of its four engines working. The pilot consulted with the front office and decided to continue the flight rather than be fined from all directions. The flight landed normally on three engines, on time, in London.

      • 0 avatar

        Are you talking about Speedbird 268? Where do I start?

        online dot wsj dot com/article/SB115896261643871721 dot html

        1) That was not last year, that was 2005.
        2) It was British Airways that didn’t want to dump 30 grand worth of fuel.
        3) BA ops folks said to keep going, not because of FAA regulations, but because of passenger compensation under CAA rules (that’s British, not Euro).
        4) In fact, the FAA was not happy with them for not landing and continuing to the UK and wanted to fine them for not landing:
        5) There are no EPA rules on this. In fact, the EPA thinks the risk of fuel dumping is de minimis on the environment given the small scale of it occurring: www dot us-caw dot org/pdf/Fueldump dot pdf
        6) Fuel dumping does not occur “in the ocean” except in extreme emergencies. It generally occurs at high altitude and vaporizes in the atmosphere.
        7) The fuel dumping is not mandated by “FAA regulations” so much as the 747 has a specific landing weight specification based on a variety of factors. In order to meet landing weight, you must dump fuel in these scenarios.
        8) London is a 5500 mile trip, roughly, not 8000 miles. In fact, you need fuel for your trip, plus diversion airports, plus some extra. There is a standard calculation, although sometimes it’s fudged by changing flight plans mid-air.
        9) The plane didn’t make it to Heathrow. The pilot diverted to Manchester because he was worried about being low on fuel. The reason is likely because the 747 has to fly lower than normal (3 engines on a fully loaded 747 means flying under 31,000 feet, although higher might be okay after you burn some fuel — however, they were kept lower than the limit, something like FL 270).
        10) I don’t know if the “military specs” have anything to do with it, but a 747 could probably fly on 1 engine, although it probably couldn’t take off with only 2 engines. 2 engines would probably not get you to London, and if they were on the same side, you’d probably need an emergency landing.

        Also, the same plane flew to Singapore on 3 engines not too far after this incident.

        Other than the fact that you completely made up all the “facts,” nice story, bro.

        • 0 avatar

          No, I didn’t mean Speedbird 268, there was another incident last year. I never said BA wanted to dump the fuel, they would have had to if they had landed. The Cali-EPA fines airlines for fuel (and other material) dumping over the ocean. The CAA compensation was just ONE of the reasons for continuing the flight, not the only one. You’re right, it’s 5300 statute miles, not 8,000, congratulations. The plane landed at Heathrow on time. Boeing would not have built the 747 if it hadn’t been for anticipated sales for USAF cargo carriers that met their specifications, and the commercial sales benefitted from the beefed up airframe components. I don’t make up stories, and I don’t think much of know-it-alls who read things that aren’t there and miss the point being made.

          • 0 avatar

            Which BA passenger flight from LAX to Heathrow was it where an engine burned to a crisp?

            For BA 268, the engine only surged, which caused flames out of the rear of the engine, but the engine did not burn to a crisp. The pilot promptly shut it down. I would be very surprised if an engine “burn[ed] to a crisp,” and the crew still continued to London, because that’s not at all the same as an IFSD. You would worry whether the fire took something else with it.

            A 747 is definitely still airworthy after an IFSD of one engine — almost all quad engine planes are, although a 747 has numerous redundancies built-in. It wouldn’t be newsworthy, generally. Federal Aviation Regulations certainly allow quad engines planes to continue to their destination if it’s as safe to do so as landing at a diversion airport. However, none of that would be the case if the engine “burn[ed] to a crisp.”

            Furthermore, I’m not aware of Cal/EPA or any other California state agency fining an airline for jettisoning fuel on an emergency basis. This happens somewhat frequently. I know there are cases where a California state agency (such as the Dept of Toxic Substances Control) has fined an airline for dumping medical waste, and it’s entirely possible an airline has been fined for dumping fuel on a non-emergency basis, such as on the ground at an airport.

            Can you point me to a case where an airline got fined by Cal/EPA when they jettisoned fuel on an emergency basis?

            I know the state of Washington (Dept of Ecology) considered fining Asiana when they jettisoned fuel over Puget Sound on an emergency basis, but they chose not to do so www dot ecy dot wa dot gov/programs/spills/incidents/Asiana/Asiana dot html).

            Fuel is not jettisoned directly into the water — usually the pilot works with air traffic control to jettison the fuel in the atmosphere (where it vaporizes) in a controlled manner and in a manner to avoid other planes. Very little of it ends up as liquid fuel in the ocean, and the small amount that does is broken down within a week or so. Of course, if it’s such an emergency that you can’t jettison fuel or your aircraft is not capable of jettisoning fuel (so you just circle to burn it off), then you land overweight.

    • 0 avatar

      The article is misleading, to some extent, when it says only “The law firm Outten & Golden filed a class-action lawsuit for not giving employees a 60-day notice under California’s WARN act.” Fisker got sued under the *federal* WARN Act and the California WARN Act. Those are two different causes of action, so they would have gotten sued even if they weren’t in California. Every company in the land that is covered by the federal WARN Act is subject to it. That’s why the lawsuit is in federal court, most likely, or else it’d probably be in California state court.

  • avatar

    Even if they win the lawsuit, if the money isn’t there, the workers won’t get anything.

  • avatar

    I’m just realizing this application of the fish grille works on the Karma. Maybe Ford can purchase them for a design refresh on Lincoln products. This would make a nice new MKIX in 2-door format.

  • avatar

    Why does it take 53 execs to sell off the assets? Seems a couple of drones with an ebay account should suffice…

  • avatar

    This case is about fairness. 160 workers can be tossed out, but the execs remain.
    The execs in many businesses treat the enterprise like a private piggy bank, not the share
    holders property. With no workers, no sales, no advertising and no cash flow, why are 53 execs needed?
    If these “experts” couldn’t run the company, are they clever and experienced enough to liquidate it?
    Does their performance merit continued employment and probably severance $?

    • 0 avatar

      One could also ask the question why there were 53 executives and senior managers to start with. No wonder they went belly up. Every senior bigwig had only three underlings to manage. There must have been a whole lot of micro management.

    • 0 avatar

      No such thing as fairness. When you’re an exec you get special treatment. The further you are down the ladder the less special treatment you get.

  • avatar

    This company can be saved and it is sad that the folks running it are no longer interested in doing so.

    • 0 avatar

      Fisker can’t be saved for it started life as a falsehood (received government handouts to build a commercially non-viable product). Let it fail such that rational capital can pursue better interests. I will say though that the Fisker is a stunning looking car.

      • 0 avatar

        There are indications that management never planned to execute the second half of the loan. However, mass production of the Fisker platform has the ability to bring costs down to the point of making the vehicle viable. The Karma’s bugs are generally well-known and can be fixed.

  • avatar

    how could this company survive when they use Snidely Whiplash’s mustache as the inspiration for the grill?

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