In the wake of an ultimatum set forth by the management of Demoulas Market Basket stating that any associates who fail to return to work by Monday could be replaced, attorneys general for New Hampshire and Massachusetts acknowledged their awareness of the possible layoffs in a memo to the company.

The letter was prompted by calls from Market Basket employees who had questions about their legal rights, according to a Boston Magazine report.

“As a threshold matter, we urge Market Basket to be mindful of the fact that its decisions have broad implications,” the attorneys general said in the letter, which outlined specific legalities Market Basket’s CEOs must adhere to if they decide to let people go. “Your decisions of course directly impact thousands of employees and thousands of customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Those decisions also have serious implications for the many small businesses that supply your stores or otherwise rely on a close business relationship with Market Basket for their livelihood. Please keep all of these impacted persons in mind as you chart the course for Market Basket.”

Market Basket co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and James Gooch responded to the letter in a joint statement.

“We have said several times that we hope sincerely that we do not discharge any employees. We want our associates back. We are focused solely on getting Market Basket stores back up and running for our customers, and importantly, for the many local vendors that rely on Market Basket to make their own businesses successful for the sake of their employees. We respect the Attorneys General position, and we would of course follow all applicable laws.


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