590 586 face layoff as Baum woes spread to Pillar

Pillar Processing, a back-office and document-processing firm with close ties to the Steven J. Baum PC foreclosure law firm, will lay off 590 full- and part-time employees at its offices in Amherst.

The company told state and local officials that the layoffs are expected to take effect Feb. 27. Pillar is also laying off about 20 employees in Westbury, on Long Island.

“This is extremely difficult news because it impacts so many people, especially in Western New York,” Michael Hubsch, Pillar’s director of human resources, said in a statement. “These are hard-working, dedicated people as well as loyal employees, and they performed their work with great integrity.” Hubsch could not be reached to comment further.

The majority of the layoffs — 435 — involve processors. A total of 117 paralegals, team leaders, supervisors and legal secretaries will also be affected, according to a document filed along with a notice of the layoffs.

“It is not anticipated the entire offices will be closed, and it is likely that certain employees will be retained for an indefinite period following [Feb. 27],” said a letter submitted by Hubsch to state and local officials.

A letter sent to employees referred to Pillar’s plan to “permanently close that part of its New York operations which serviced a New York law firm.”

Questions about the fate of jobs at Pillar arose after Steven J. Baum PC gave notice last week that it would lay off 90 employees, including 67 in Amherst, effective Feb. 20.

Baum founded Pillar several years ago to handle the law firm’s work. Pillar was sold to private-equity firms, but it still shares resources and space with Baum at 220 Northpointe Parkway in Amherst.

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