Chao v. Gotham Registry & Livick v. The Gillette Company

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Case Study 3 – Chao v. Gotham Registry 514 F.3d 280 (2d Cir. 2008)

Instructions

Research the above mentioned case. Please read the following excerpt and respond in paragraph format to the following questions on an APA format, double spaced, Times New Roman, Font size 12 document.

Gotham Registry is a staffing agency that provides hospitals with nurses. It was required to pay nurses overtime pay. However, the hospitals that used its staff did not always pay the agency extra to cover the costs of overtime work. This prompted the agency to adopt a policy requiring advance notice and prior authorization of overtime work.

Failure to obtain authorization would result in the non-payment of overtime to nurses. Despite the policy, nurses frequently worked overtime without authorization. This practice of not paying for overtime work that had not been authorized was challenged by the Department of Labor.

Questions

  1. What was the legal issue in this case? What did the court decide?
  2. Why did it ultimately not matter that the staffing agency had a policy requiring prior approval of overtime work? That the agency was not in the workplace and had no prior notification of the disputed overtime work?
  3. What should the staffing agency have done instead? Would the court’s suggestions be workable? Legal?

Case Study 4 – Livick v. The Gillette Company 524 F.3d 24 (1st Cir. 2008)

Instructions

Research the above-mentioned case. Please read the following excerpt and respond in paragraph format to the following questions on an APA format, double spaced, Times New Roman, Font size 12 document.

The plaintiff in this case was originally an employee of the Parker Pen Company. He was first employed in 1976 and participated in the Parker Pen pension plan. The company was bought by Gillette and the pension plans of the two companies were merged at the end of 1995. The plaintiff received letters explaining that the Parker Pen plan was being frozen, but that he would receive any benefits already accrued under that plan (an estimated $1047 per month upon retirement) in addition to subsequent benefits accrued after January 1, 1996 under the Gillette plan. His position was eliminated at the end of 2000.

At a meeting held for downsized employees to discuss their benefits, the plaintiff was told for the first time that his prior service for Parker Pen might count toward his Gillette pension. He met with an HR representative who (erroneously) calculated his retirement benefit to be $2832 per month, based on a hire date of 1976. The plaintiff also consulted an online pension estimator provided by Gillette.

The site, again based on the assumption of a hire date of 1976, estimated his Gillette pension to be $2914 per month. However, the site contained a prominent disclaimer stating that it only provides estimates and that in the event of a discrepancy, the terms of the plan would apply. Additionally, the site contained a section that correctly outlined the treatment of former Parker Pen employees under the Gillette plan.

For the first two years following his job loss, the plaintiff received a monthly severance benefit. His actual retirement was scheduled for the beginning of 2004. While still receiving the severance benefit, he contacted Gillette and asked for a statement of his expected pension benefit. He was informed that his Gillette pension would be based solely on the time worked for Gillette and that the amount would be $789 per month (in addition to $1047 from the Parker Pen plan).

Questions

  1. What were the legal issues in this case? What did the court decide?
  2. Who is a “fiduciary” under ERISA? Why was the human resources representative not a fiduciary?
  3. Why did the plaintiff’s estoppel claim also fail? Why was it not reasonable for him to rely on multiple estimates of a higher pension?

 

Last Updated on October 6, 2019