US telecoms giant AT&T faces another court case after a lawsuit was filed by the Communications Workers of America union over pension rights.
The law suit, filed in the US District Court in North California, claims that AT&T is denying female workers who took pregnancy leave before 1979 their proper pension and retirement benefits.
According to the union, the class action covers 15,000 women workers who took pregnancy leave before April 29 1979, and charges that AT&T's actions violates both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
AT&T employees who were on leave from work due to medical reasons were given service credit for their time absent from work. Pregnant women however, were required to take personal leave for their absences.
When the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was adopted in 1979, AT&T changed its policy on service credit for new employees. However, the telecoms giant stated that female workers who took pregnancy leave prior to 1979 were not covered by the rule changes. According to the union, by disallowing credit for pregnancy leave in calculating their pension and retirement benefits, workers have had lower pensions and lost retirement benefits.
The CWA case is the second pension related law suit that AT&T has become engaged in this week. The Amalgamated Bank's LongView pension fund, and the retirement funds of the AFL-CIO and the CWA went to the New York Supreme Court in a bid to halt the proposed break up of AT&T into four businesses, which they claim is being conducted contrary to rules laid out in its corporate charter.
By Geoffrey Ho
The Howden Group Pension Plan has completed a full pensioner buy-in with Legal & General (L&G), insuring benefits for around 2,000 members.
Professional Pensions is looking to update its list of pensions master trusts in the UK ahead of authorisation. Can you help?
Concern about the potential impact on employer covenants has been rated the top risk for defined benefit (DB) schemes, according to a PTL survey.
Jonathan Stapleton says the DWP's progress on CDC is a welcome, and cautious, step forward.