DILLARD’S CONFIRMS ATLANTA ENTRY
NEW YORK — Dillard Department Stores will open its first Atlanta-area store in spring 1996 in the North Point Mall, said Homart, developer of the mall.
The announcement confirmed reports that Dillard’s was planning a move into the market. Homart said construction should begin this spring. Dillard’s operates 232 stores. Speculation continues that Dillard’s will open more than one unit in the burgeoning Atlanta market. Two malls currently under proposal on the east and west sides of Atlanta are possible locations.
Dillard officials could not be reached Monday.
In an unrelated development, the Supreme Court Monday let stand a lower court ruling involving Dillard’s. The ruling found that businesses that violate the 60-day notice for plant closings are only liable to pay back wages for actual work days, not calendar days, during that period.
The case dates back to 1989 when Dillard bought D.H. Holmes Co., New Orleans, and subsequently laid off 700 workers. Dillard recognized that it failed to give sufficient notice to the workers, which is required under a federal law passed that year, but the retailer only paid them back pay for actual workdays within the 60-day period.
A trial court initially sided with the employees, interpreting the law’s reference to “back pay” to mean that employers are liable for up to 60 days of back pay if the proper notice isn’t given. An appeals court, however, ruled in Dillard’s favor, stating that the back pay provision only covers days that employees would have actually worked.