*NEWS*COURT SIDES WITH XEROX EMPLOYEES

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*NEWS*COURT SIDES WITH XEROX EMPLOYEES

 user 2006-01-16 at 10:14:00 am Views: 76
  • #13422

    Court sides with Xerox employees
    Rehired workers’ pension changes prompted 100 to sue.
    January  2006 – A group of more than 100 employees who sued Xerox Corp. over changes to their pension plans have won a decision from an appeals court
    The 2nd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, located in New York City, has ruled employees who had left the company and were later rehired were not properly informed by Xerox about the change.
    Friday’s ruling reversed an earlier decision by U.S. District Judge David Larimer.
    “This is a decision that says Xerox simply did not follow the rules,” said New Jersey attorney Robert A. Jaffe, who represented the plaintiffs.
    The policy in question discounted pensions earned during a worker’s second tenure by the value of their original pension, plus interest.
    The action violated the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the court ruled. Xerox could appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
    “We are disappointed by the decision and we will evaluate options, which include continuing to appeal,” a Xerox spokesman said.
    The change slashed the value of pensions, in some cases by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    The case was originally filed in 1999, with employee Paul Frommert as the lead plaintiff.
    Frommert, of Webster, declined comment on the most recent court ruling.
    Last year Larimer, of the U.S. District Court’s Western District in Rochester, granted Xerox a motion to dismiss.
    But in its ruling Friday, the 2nd Circuit said Larimer erred in calculating when the plaintiffs were informed of the change in policy.
    We “reject the district court’s findings that the plaintiffs’ claim for fiduciary duty was untimely,” Judge Nicholas Garaufis wrote for the court.
    If Xerox does not appeal, the case will be sent back to the Western District for further examination, which could lead to a settlement.
    The plaintiffs hope Xerox will want to sit down and negotiate payments, Jaffe said: “I just hope they’ll be a good employer and try to resolve this. That would be the best for these people.”