Employee Benefits & ERISA
ERISA Class Action Lawyers Protecting Employee Rights
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), was enacted to, among other things, protect the assets of private employer pension plans. ERISA can also govern employer provided health plans. If a private employer violates ERISA’s mandates and an employee’s pension plan is harmed by bad investments or unlawful conduct, a lawsuit can be brought on a class action basis for all similarly-harmed employees. The litigators at Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP have more than a quarter century of experience prosecuting ERISA cases. We represent individual participants in employment class action lawsuits against fiduciaries of the plan.
Laws Governing ERISA Plans
ERISA established important standards for voluntary pensions and health plans. ERISA specifies pension fund terms for employees, as well as imposes transparency and reporting requirements on private employers. Under ERISA, the plan administrator must provide participants with information about the plan’s features and funding. The information must be conveyed in such a way that employees understand their benefits and their rights under benefit plans. In addition, pension fund managers, or the entity that manages and controls the plan assets, owe a fiduciary duty to plan beneficiaries under ERISA. Plan beneficiaries can sue employers or plan managers if their pension fund is not appropriately managed or the managers of the plan’s assets violate their fiduciary duties.
Breach of Fiduciary Duties
Under the ERISA rules, the trustees, administrators and members of the plan’s investment committee must act in the best interests of the plan’s participants and beneficiaries. This includes making prudent investments and diversifying the plan’s investment portfolio. High-return, high-risk investments are inappropriate for an ERISA plan. Instead, the fiduciaries have a duty to earn steady returns through safe, well-informed investments.
To avoid conflicts of interests, the fiduciaries must not engage in transactions that benefit themselves or other parties related to the plan. Actions that may create a conflict of interest include using assets for personal gain, transacting a property sale between the plan and the disqualified fiduciary or lending money to the plan.
Fiduciaries who violate these important duties may be held personally liable for losses sustained by the plan. The participants may recover profits earned through the inappropriate use of the plan’s assets and may demand removal of the fiduciaries who violated the law or breached the plan’s contractual terms.
Learn More About Class Action ERISA Claims
If you believe that you have a claim under ERISA, you can discuss your case with our experienced ERISA class action lawyers by scheduling a free, confidential consultation. Contact us today to speak with an attorney at our firm.