Class action suit over Treasure Island workers’ pay, penalty still pending

Treasure Island, 1526 E. 55th St. – Marc Monaghan

Staff Writer

Laid-off Treasure Island workers and their lawyer are waiting for a resolution of their lawsuit against the former owners of the grocery store chain.

Attorney Karen Engelhardt filed suit in federal district court against Treasure Island Foods and members of the Kamberos family that owned it on Oct. 11 on behalf of workers dismissed en masse by the company when it closed.

They allege that the defunct supermarket chain did not provide 60-days notice of a mass layoff as required by the federal and state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) act and must provide 60 days’ pay as a penalty.

Engelhardt said Treasure Island provided health insurance through the end of October; she said the laid-off employees are entitled to reimbursements for their medical expenses in November.

They also cite a violation of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, because Treasure Island did not pay workers all compensation, including earned wages and accrued vacation time, at the workers’ next payday.

Engelhardt said that Treasure Island’s trustee assigned for the benefit of creditors, David Cavanaugh, had been cooperative since taking control of the company at 10 p.m. on Sept. 28 through the supermarkets’ closure; the Hyde Park location closed on Oct. 8.
Engelhardt said it appears that employees have been given earned pay for the liquidation period.

“When I filed, I had no idea that everyone would be paid, and now it seems like everyone’s gotten their money from the post-assignment period,” she said. The court still must rule on any possible penalty.

Engelhardt expects that an answer to her clients’ complaints next month and that the workers may have to wait alongside Treasure Island’s other creditors for the money they claim that they are owed.

Kearney W. Kilens, the Kamberos’ attorney, declined to comment.