Status: Vacation

Received via e-mail:

On behalf of the Dissolution Committee:

To Our Employees:

The Dissolution Committee is sending this message to keep interested employees as informed as possible of relevant developments.  A number of people have raised questions about accrued vacation pay payable upon termination.  We regret to inform you that the banks which now control our ability to write checks — Bank of America and Citibank — have informed us that we may not pay terminating employees for accrued vacation.  This decision was made despite our strenuous, repeated efforts to convince the banks otherwise.

We will continue to seek the banks’ permission to pay these amounts as soon as possible.  The Dissolution Committee did obtain the banks oral permission to fund the payroll due next Friday in all other respects. We are now awaiting their written confirmation, which we expect to receive later today.

We sincerely regret that the banks are preventing us from paying our terminating employees the full amount to which they are entitled at this time.  We wish it were otherwise, and we will continue to press the banks to change their position. 

The Dissolution Committee


13 Responses to “Status: Vacation”

  1. 1 LB 3 October 2008 at 2:45 pm

    What is this mean, first question, do they mean accrued vacation or both will not be paid. How about vacation earned? would this paid. Second, if the bank gives Heller an oral agreement to meet the payroll, what if they Bank changes it’s mind or don’t have enough funds when payroll comes? Correct me if I’m wrong, all these issues, shoul be covered by the WARN act, right?? WARN act my ass!!!

  2. 2 hellerdrone 3 October 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Sit tight people – I am sitting here saying out loud, not to myself, “Uh uh. Oh no they didn’t!”

    Please don’t do anything right now – go home, relax, enjoy your weekend. We still have some very powerful cards to play as staff and you’ll see more about it this weekend.

    Just don’t abandon ship – that is what they want!!!

    Over and out.

    Heller Drone
    Cruise Director

  3. 3 Unwilling or unable? 3 October 2008 at 2:56 pm

    On a 2nd reading of this email, the part that jumps out at me is that they ~appear~ to acknowledge accrued vacation as a legitimate debt (“…the full amount to which they are entitled…”), but plead incapacity to pay. Two things, right off the top of my head:

    1) Imminent bankruptcy?

    2) If the banks are counting on an orderly shutdown to get paid, it may be have been counterproductive to motivate the longest-tenured employees to all start vacation Monday morning.

  4. 4 All Leave? 3 October 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Query whether we effectively “accept” this as a change in our employment contract terms by coming in on Monday and by not quitting immediately?

    Do any CA attorneys have advice? Can this be legal?

    If we all object today (or Monday), by seriously rocking this boat, are we better off?

    –All Leave?

  5. 5 LB 3 October 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Any labor attorney that can explain what all this mean?? Plain and simple, We should not leave till they push us out the door (Nov. 28)!!!

    This is how our loyalty is paid?


  6. 6 Yet another ex-Hellerite 3 October 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I hate to say it, but this smells like a bankruptcy filing in the making. Shades of Brobeck indeed…

  7. 7 Anonymous 3 October 2008 at 3:17 pm

    There’s a funny thing called California State Law when it comes to employee’s accrued vacation. Check out these links:

    So basically since Heller Ehrman does have an accrued vacation time plan, they can’t weasel out of paying employees upon employee termination. Otherwise it’s illegal and suggest a class action law suit.

    Or we may have to leak this to the press.

  8. 8 Helladian 3 October 2008 at 3:21 pm

    It’s bankruptcy, shipmates.

  9. 9 Heller Enron 3 October 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Well, I guess we will get the annual “You may leave the office a few hours early before Thanksgiving” notice … super-sized!

    Trying to find some humor in this situation …

  10. 10 Fed Up 4 October 2008 at 8:30 am

    Shouldn’t we, the staff, hire an attorney to represent our interest in all of this? I mean, we are leaving this up to the Dissolution Committe (partners). We should have someone involved representing our interests.

  11. 11 hellerdrone 4 October 2008 at 10:04 am

    Thanks FedUp – and I agree with you on having an attorney. I am attempting to line up some legal counsel for the group but that has not been easy so far.

    So far this blog has been a powerful enough voice to try to shame the Heller shareholders into doing the right thing. If they really think that we’ve sat outside their offices working for them the past few years and we’ve not learned a few legal tricks, then they really aren’t the smartest ones in the room, are they?

    Heller Drone
    Cruise Director

  12. 12 No Name 4 October 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Dear Heller Drone,

    Have you thought about contacting 7 on your side or something similar to help the Heller employees?

  13. 13 HELLerite 18 October 2008 at 8:15 am

    Can the employees find a law firm and force heller into bankruptcy? After all, wages are considered a priority in the Bankruptcy world…..especially in this ecomony. And with all of the rumors that have been going on about shareholder (Dissolution Committee) members leaving and getting hired as contract workers in order to get all of the pay, it does not seem fair, and it shouldn’t be allowed.

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