Appliance retailer Sears Holding Corp. announced plans of a "mass layoff" of 250 workers at its headquarters in Hoffman Estates, IL, U.S., according to a report filed with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Illinois defines a mass layoff as 250 or more full-time employees or at least 25 employees if they make up at least one-third of the employer's work force. According to a 2004 state law, employers with at least 75 full-time workers must give 60 days notice to workers and the state of mass layoffs or a plant closing.
Sears spokesman Chris Brathwaite declined to comment on the filing and said it has not been determined how many people will lose their jobs. However, the commerce department's Web site says 250 workers would be affected at the company's headquarters.
Sears said some layoffs will be announced by the end of April 2005 from among the 5,000 people working at the headquarters, but the majority of the work force of 400,000 will keep their jobs and the company will maintain a corporate presence in Michigan.
Mr. Brathwaite would not confirm the report, but he said Sears' employees were sent an e-mail Monday informing them that they would be told next month of changes to their benefits packages, to be implemented in early 2006.
Sears Holdings head Edward Lampert, who purchased bankrupt Kmart Holding Corp. in 2003, said widespread store closings were not planned after the two companies merged. (AP)
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