Lawsuits involving employee benefits often allege that employers and/or fiduciaries have violated ERISA laws. In some cases, excessive fees or failure to properly invest assets results in millions of dollars in losses. In other cases, employers deny benefits that employees rightfully deserve.
Need a Texas ERISA Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has an ERISA claim involving employee benefits, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.
What is ERISA?
The Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1984 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for employee benefit and pension plans in private industry, including retirement, healthcare, and stock option plans.
It does not require employers to provide benefits, but it does establish certain requirements for the people overseeing the plans (referred to as “fiduciaries”). ERISA also gives participants the right to file a lawsuit for breaches of fiduciary duty.
Examples of ERISA Lawsuits
ERISA makes it illegal for employers to interfere with an employee’s right to benefits under the plan. When employers violate ERISA laws, employees may be able to file a lawsuit to recover money that was lost from their benefit plans.
The most common claims involve breaches of fiduciary duty, plan interpretation issues, prohibited transactions, imprudent investments, plan funding / termination disputes, and federal preemption defenses.
Examples of ERISA violations might include:
- Failing to hold plan assets in trust, properly value, or manage plan assets.
- Discriminating against individuals who exercise rights under the plan (e.g., fines, being fired, etc.)
- Employer terminates stock option plans for employees who are still working at the company in the same job.
- Employer lies about the number of benefit options an employee will receive.
- Failing to operate the plan prudently and for the exclusive benefit of participants.
- Criminal violations (e.g, embezzlement, kickbacks, etc.)
- Using plan assets to benefit the administrator or sponsor.
- And more
Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP)
The Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is designed to invest primarily in employer securities. This type of plan can have distinct violations under ERISA — one of the most common is incorrect valuation of employer securities when purchasing, selling, distributing, or otherwise valuing stock. Another common violation is failing to provide participants with benefits, such as voting rights, ability to diversify account balances at certain times, and the right to sell shares of stock.
When To File a Lawsuit
If you have problem claiming pension benefits or if you have been denied benefits, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. ERISA laws are extremely complex and you will need to find an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state.
Need an ERISA Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas ERISA lawyers for a free lawsuit review.