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IN THIS ISSUE

 

NEWSLETTER

Fall 2011

ARTICLES

THE SUPREME COURT EXAMINES EMPLOYER MISREPRESENTATION IN THE MODIFICATION OF ITS PENSION PLAN

William G. Beatty

In November of 1997 the insurance giant, CIGNA, sent to its employees a newsletter announcing that during the following year it would implement changes to the nature of the company’s pension plan.  The existing pension plan provided a retiring employee with a “defined benefit” in the form of an annuity purchased by the company that  would pay out a monthly benefit to the retired employee for life.  The size of the annuity purchased would depend upon the pre-retirement salary of the employee, along with his or her length of service with the company.

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DOES DUKES SPELL "DOOM" FOR EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION CLASS ACTION SUITS

Garrett L. Boehm, Jr.

In June 2011, the United States Supreme Court vacated one of the most expansive class actions ever. In Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2541 (2011), Betty Dukes and two other class representatives sought to defend the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that allowed a class of 1.5 million women to allege that Wal-Mart discriminated against their advancement. Specifically, Dukes alleged, on behalf of 1.5 million present and former female Wal-Mart employees, that her pay and promotion was not consistent with the pay and promotion of her male counterparts.

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EXPERTS ASK COMMISSION FOR MORE GUIDANCE ON USE OF LEAVE AS A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION UNDER THE ADA

Joseph F. Spitzzeri

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a meeting in June on the use of leave as a means to providing reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.  The agency heard from a diverse panel of experts representing employees and employers, as well as EEOC officials.  While they had different viewpoints as to some employer and employee obligations, the experts nonetheless all agreed on the need for clear and uniform guidance from the EEOC.

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