Nearly 20,000 former Toys R Us employees received letters that allow them to apply for severance pay from a $20 million hardship fund created late last year by private equity owners KKR and Bain Capital to support workers affected by the retailer’s liquidation, according to information from the fund’s website and provided by Carrie Gleason, policy director and campaign manager for Organization United for Respect and its Rise Up Retail campaign.
Eligible employees will receive a proportional amount of money based on their former salary, position and years spent at the retailer, with amounts ranging from $200 to over $12,000. Former employees began receiving checks this week.
Workers rights activists like Gleason are notching this as a “historic” win, although they argue that former Toys R Us employees were owed $75 million in severance pay altogether. They continue to urge creditors including Solus, Angelo Gordon, Vornado and others to contribute to the fund, which is being administered by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros. Angelo Gordon declined to comment to Retail Dive, and the other creditors did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
After spending seven years working her way up to a supervisor role at a Babies R Us in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, Sarah Woodhams lost her job in June of 2018. She found out on Facebook, as did many of her colleagues, that her store would be closing, she told Retail Dive in an interview.