Comprehensive ERISA Representation for the Employee/Executive
- Health benefit claims
- Severance claims
- Top Hat claims
- Pension claims (defined contribution [401(k)/ESOP] or defined benefit [traditional retirement] plans)
- Life Insurance/AD&D claims
- Other complex ERISA litigation (including class actions)
Employment Representation for the Employee/Executive
- Employment contracts, including benefits and executive compensation
- Severance packages when transitioning from one job to the next
- Restrictive Covenants: Non-compete and non-solicitation clauses
- Wrongful termination
- Wage and Hour
- Determining your employment status and whether it matches your compensation
- Reviewing your benefits package to ensure that your benefits comply with laws for full-time or part-time work
- Reviewing payroll and work history to uncover and submit unpaid wage claims
- Advocating for you in a wage and hour dispute
ERISA Disputes for Individuals/Employees
When employees seek the counsel of Pridgen Bassett Law for an ERISA matter, it is most commonly over the denial of a pension/401(k) benefit, severance or health benefit, or an alleged breach of fiduciary duty. It may seem intimidating for an individual to challenge the decision of a corporate plan administrator or his or her employer. You may also be unsure whether you have a strong claim. We recommend scheduling an initial consultation with us to discuss your individual situation.
Practical Legal Advice
We have built a trusted reputation for giving our clients the bottom line. If the litigation hazards or applicable law outweigh a lawsuit, we will tell you. On the other hand, there may be nuances as to whether you may be entitled to a benefit, even if you aren't sure you qualify under the strict letter of the plan. Importantly, if you prevail on your claim in federal court, ERISA provides that you may be able to recover not only the withheld benefit, but also interest that may have accrued in the interim, as well as your attorney's fees.
Investigating Unlawful Practices
An initial consultation sometimes uncovers a plan administrator's unlawful practices. If those ERISA violations have impacted other employees, a class action lawsuit may be available. Notably, our attorneys have litigated class action lawsuits that began in this manner, where only one beneficiary initially came forward.
Analyzing Specific Plan Benefits
When an employee first contacts us, our starting point is the plan documentation, which should specify the time limits and other procedural requirements for filing a claim, in addition to a description of the plan's benefits. Depending on the nature of the disputed benefit, we may gather extrinsic evidence. For example, medical records and expert testimony may be required to substantiate a claimant's medical condition.
Protecting Government Employees
We are also able to represent employees with benefit disputes not covered by ERISA, such as government or church employees. Each has its own procedural requirements. In many cases, in order to appeal a benefit denied by a government entity in Georgia, for example, you must appeal by way of a writ of certiorari to the county superior court. Failing to comply with this procedure could leave you without a remedy.