More than 200 layoffs in Cornelius expected as racing company closes

More than 200 layoffs in Cornelius expected as racing company closes

CORNELIUS, NC (The Charlotte Observer/Katherine Peralta) - More than 200 people will lose their jobs in Cornelius as Michael Waltrip Racing Management Co. winds down its operations.

According to a letter sent to the N.C. Commerce Department, 217 employees will be laid off in stages between Nov. 1 and April 15. The company said it is liquidating its assets, which is expected to be completed by mid-April.

Michael Waltrip Racing is ceasing operations at its facilities at 20310 Chartwell Center Drive and 19340 Liverpool Parkway, both in Cornelius, according to the letter.

Companies that employ at least 100 workers are required to file a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) to the state's Commerce Department when they plan to lay off between 50-499 employees, if those workers make up at least one-third of their workforce.

"All employees have been notified of the reduction in force and ultimate closure and, therefore, there will be no bumping rights regarding the job in question," the company wrote.

Bumping is when a more senior employee's job is cut and instead of that worker losing employment, he or she "bumps" a less senior employee and takes that person's job, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

Charlotte businessman and race team owner Rob Kauffman said in August he was cutting his investment in Michael Waltrip Racing and closing the company amid poor results, both financially and on the racetrack. The organization hasn't won a race in more than two years.

Heather Shaw, the company's director of human resources, could not be reached for comment after multiple attempts Wednesday.