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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:12pm
Fri Jun 17, 2016

Former Old Country Buffet Workers Sue Over Sudden Layoffs At Chicago Restaurant

Former workers of a now-closed Old Country Buffet in Chicago are suing for back pay compensation after the restaurant abruptly shut down in early March.

Four former employees of the shuttered Old Country Buffet, located at 6125 N. Lincoln Ave., filed a federal lawsuit in April against the restaurant's operator, Texas-based Food Management Partners.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, alleges the company failed to notify employees about the layoffs 60 days before closing the restaurant on March 7. Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, a 60-day layoff notice is required when a business closing will result in the loss of 50 or more job positions that required more than 20 hours a week. 

At the now-closed Old Country Buffet on Lincoln Avenue, there were 57 employees who worked more than 20 hours a week, according to the lawsuit.  

"A number of the people who worked there were employed for over ten years," said Carolyn Morales with Arise Chicago, a worker center assisting the laid off Old Country Buffet workers. "This is not high school students' part-time job. This is people's profession."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:29pm
Fri Jun 10, 2016

Federal Funding Saves Illinois Pediatric AIDS Prevention Group From Closure

HIV-positive mothers and their unborn babies are benefiting from an 11th-hour infusion of federal funding that saved an Illinois nonprofit from closing due to the state budget impasse.

Anne Statton, executive director of the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative (PACPI), said approximately $500,000 in available federal funds was released to the organization by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The funds will cover outstanding invoices for contracted services PACPI performed between July 2015 and March 2016, Statton said.

PACPI, which works to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmissions, depends on IDPH for about 85 percent of its funding. Currently, the organization has state contracts that collectively total about $845,000.

Without the federal funding, PACPI would have been forced to shut down in October.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:48pm
Wed Oct 7, 2015

Parents, Daycare Providers Rail Against Rauner's Child Care Cuts At Chicago Hearing

Progress Illinois recaps Wednesday's state hearing in Chicago on the Rauner administration's changes to the Child Care Assistance Program, which have thus far resulted in nearly 5,000 children being denied access to state-subsidized daycare.

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