Budzinski Seeks Answers from Akorn Pharmaceuticals in Letter to CEO

Mar 03, 2023
Economy
Labor
Press

WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) sent a letter to Akorn Pharmaceuticals leadership laying out her deep concerns with the company’s recent unexpected layoffs. Akorn closed their Decatur facility with no advanced warning to state or local officials – leaving more than 400 workers jobless and violating the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

“I’m outraged by the unforeseen announcement that Akorn has closed their plant without advanced warning to employees. This sudden closure has left over 400 employees without a job, no severance package, and only a handful of days of health insurance coverage. These workers and their families, including single mothers with small children, were left with no time to prepare for their next steps.” wrote Congresswoman Budzinski. “Akorn knew for over a year that it was operating at a loss and that bankruptcy was a possibility, yet it did not have an appropriate and reasonable plan in place to let go of its employees with the crucial resources they needed.”

Congresswoman Budzinski was immediately in touch with state and local leaders to coordinate response efforts following Akorn’s announcement. She also visited with the workers impacted at a workshop where they could connect with layoff assistance. 

Budzinski’s letter can be found here and below: 

March 3, 2023

Douglas Boothe

Akorn CEO

1925 W Field Ct Ste 300

Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

Dear Mr. Boothe,

I am writing to express my deep concern about the recent and unexpected closure and layoffs at the Akorn Pharmaceuticals (Akorn) facility in Decatur, Illinois. I’m outraged by the unforeseen announcement that Akorn has closed their plant without advanced warning to employees. This sudden closure has left over 400 employees without a job, no severance package, and only a handful of days of health insurance coverage. These workers and their families, including single mothers with small children, were left with no time to prepare for their next steps. Akorn knew for over a year that it was operating at a loss and that bankruptcy was a possibility, yet it did not have an appropriate and reasonable plan in place to let go of its employees with the crucial resources they needed.

The Illinois state WARN law requires that employers with 75 or more full-time employees provide 60 days advance notice of a pending plant closure or mass layoffs. Akorn violated WARN law and must answer for it.

Due to the nature of this unjust warning to employees and rapid closure of the facility, I am requesting answers to the following:

  • With the knowledge that bankruptcy was a possibility, why did Akorn not provide an advanced notice to employees about layoffs?
  • What resources is Akorn planning to actively provide former employees who now have no jobs, access to health insurance, or retirement benefits?

I request that you provide a written response to this letter by April 1, 2023. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Omar Ibarra in my office at omar.ibarra@mail.house.gov.  

Sincerely,

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