ITT Technical Institute faces more suits over shutdown

Associated Press

Carmel, Ind. — The for-profit college chain ITT Technical Institute is facing more lawsuits from employees following its decision to shut down.

The Indianapolis Star reports that two new lawsuits say the company violated federal law by not providing 60 days’ notice.

Another lawsuit earlier this week sought class-action status on behalf of the 8,000 employees who are losing their jobs as a result of ITT’s decision to shut down more than 130 ITT Technical Institute campuses in 38 states.

The three lawsuits were filed in Indiana and Delaware.

“There’s no doubt in my mind here that there is a plant closing or mass layoff and the employees did not get the 60 days’ notice,” said Ken Dau-Schmidt, the Willard and Margaret Carr professor of labor and employment law in the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. “The lawsuit seems fine on its surface.”

But legal experts say ITT could counter by claiming it was the victim of an “unforeseeable” regulatory assault and never had the chance to defend itself. An “unforeseeable event” would be an exception to th e60 day notice rule.

ITT announced this week it’s closing all 130 of its U.S. campuses, saying it can’t survive recent sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education banning the school from enrolling new students paying tuition with federal financial aid.

All five of ITT’s Michigan locations were affected by the sudden shutdown: Canton, Dearborn, Swartz Creek, Troy and Wyoming. It was not immediately clear how many students were enrolled at those locations.