Credit: UNITE HERE local 1
On Monday, October 2, 2023, UNITE HERE Local 1 filed a complaint in federal court against Infusion Management Group, Inc, the operator of the Signature Room at the 95th and the Signature Lounge at the 96th alleging a violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, also known as the WARN Act. The lawsuit was filed after the Signature Room closed on September 28th with no notice given to the one hundred and thirty-two restaurant employees represented by UNITE HERE Local 1.
Under the WARN Act, an employer must provide 60-days written notice of any closing or mass-layoff. Per the Act, the employer must also provide terminated workers with wages, health insurance benefits, pension benefits, life insurance premiums, accrued holiday pay, and accrued vacation for 60 days after the operation closes and workers are terminated. The complaint outlines the Signature Room operator’s failure to comply with the requirements of the WARN Act and seeks backpay, benefits and other relief under the Act.
The overwhelming majority of terminated Signature Room workers are people of color. They worked as cooks, servers, bartenders, barbacks, concierges, housekeeping attendants, bussers, and expeditors at the venue. One third of the terminated workers had served at the Signature Room for 15 years or more. Eight workers celebrated their 30-year work anniversary this past summer.
“What the Signature Room has done to these one hundred and thirty-two restaurant workers is a disgrace and shows a complete disregard for the working people who cooked, served, and welcomed Chicagoans and the world. This restaurant is iconic not just for its views but because of the hard-working staff, many of whom dedicated decades of their lives to this place. For the Signature Room operator to jettison these workers overnight is both immoral and illegal. The decimation of the Signature Room extends far beyond personal memories – it is a devastation to the families, futures, and lives of these restaurant workers. We will pursue every avenue to ensure Signature Room workers see justice served,” said Karen Kent, President of UNITE HERE Local 1.
The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. A copy of the complaint is available via email by request to [email protected].
About UNITE HERE local 1
UNITE HERE Local 1 is a labor union representing hospitality workers in the Chicago area that work in hotels, restaurants, casinos, universities, stadiums, sports arenas, convention centers and airports.