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Fisker issues big layoff, employees hire firm that sued Solyndra

Fisker Karma Recall_Forg.jpg

FILE: Nov. 18, 2010: In this file photo, Fisker Automotive's Fisker Karma, a sports luxury plug-in hybrid car, sits on display at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles. (AP)

Fisker Automotive -- the electric-car maker that was granted a half-billion-dollar federal loan and on Friday dismissed about 75 percent of its remaining workforce -- is purportedly facing a lawsuit from the same firm that sued the government-funded Solyndra company.

Fisker laid off 160 of its roughly 210 employees Friday morning from its Anaheim, Calif., location, according to Automotive News.

Employees told the publication they were given no severance pay besides compensation for unused vacation days.

According to the class action suit filed by Outten & Golden, in a California district court, Fisker failed to notify the employees 60 days in advance, violating the federal U.S. Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and a similar state WARN Act.

Outten & Golden won a $3.5 million settlement in a similar case against Solyndra, according to Reuters. The solar-panel maker received $535 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration before falling into bankruptcy in 2011. 

A source told the news agency that Fisker will retain about 53 senior managers and executives to primarily help sell off company assets.

Fisker has received $193 million of a $529 million Energy Department loan, mostly for work on its luxury Karma vehicle that sells for about $100,000. The deadline to repay the loan is purportedly in late April.

Regulatory issues and battery pack problems resulted in delays in getting the vehicle into the marketplace.

Fisker employees were furloughed March 22 to April 1.