Tech security firm workers pay dearly for security lapse at US Navy, bringing total cuts to nearly 300.

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - SureID has said it will layoff 97 people by July 3, joining more than 200 others already let go after the company lost a major deal with the U.S. Navy.Hillsboro high tech firm SureID announced more layoffs last week, continuing a series of reductions over the past two months that have claimed the jobs of hundreds of employees.

In a letter sent to the state and the city of Hillsboro on June 19, SureID, 5800 N.W. Pinefarm Place, announced that it would be laying off approximately 97 employees by July 3. The layoffs join about 200 former employees laid off by the company since May.

Seth Hotverson, SureID's vice president of human resources, said that the layoffs were due to "an unforeseen change in business needs."

Founded in 2001 as EID Passport, SureID offers identity authentication security systems for the military and large companies. The ID system was used by the U.S. Navy to ensure that only authorized people were given access to naval bases across the country.

The layoffs began less than a month after the Navy announced it would no longer use the Hillsboro company's technology on its bases, undercutting a large portion of SureID's foundation.

The Navy accounted for about 70 percent of the company's sales. According to a SureID press release on April 19, the company managed credentials at 66 Navy bases in the U.S. and Guam, overseeing some 170,000 credential holders.

The Navy's decision came after federal inspectors found that SureID technology had inadvertently allowed people without clearance onto Navy bases, including dozens of convicted felons. The unauthorized individuals were allowed access to Navy installations for months before their criminal records were discovered.

Since May, the company has laid off about 200 employees, including most of SureID's top level executives, including CEO Steve Larson.

Under the WARN Act, Oregon companies with 100 or more employees must give 60 days' notice for mass layoffs. Last week's letter was the first notification of layoffs the state has received.

One of the laid off employees, Marie Flaig, filed a class-action lawsuit against the company earlier this month, saying the company should have given notice about the mass layoffs.

It's a dramatic turn for SureID, which two years ago, employed more than 500 people and was seen as one of the nation's fastest growing companies.

In 2015, Larson said that the company had seen 138 percentage growth in staff over a three-year period which he attributed to the company's reputation within the security industry.

"It demonstrates our ability to establish the company as a national leader in high-assurance identity management," he said at the time.

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