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annuity fraud

Discussion in 'Employment Contracts & Work Policies' started by AmberLynn91, Jul 11, 2016.

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  1. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 Law Topic Starter Guest

    Jurisdiction:
    Oregon
    I was recently let go from a job this year that had a union and also a contract. Once I received my termination paperwork I also received paperwork about an annuity. In our Union contract with the company, the company is to pay into the annuity once a month after our 90-day probationary period. Once I looked over my annuity paperwork I realized that the company had only put into my annuity account one time the whole year and a half I worked for them. So my question is would they be in trouble for not putting into the annuity each month as the contract stated and if so is there a lawyer that can help me with that case? Also just a heads up I was terminated during an open workers comp claim, and I feel that they terminated me under wrongful circumstances. I also have been working to get a claim started with the Bureau of Labor & Industries.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    1 - The Annuity - I'm sure that there are lots of lawyers who would be happy to help you for a fee but since the annuity was the subject of a union contract I suggest you first file a grievance with the union and see how that goes.

    2 - Termination during a WC Claim - Well, you provided no details so there's no way to determine if the termination was illegal or not.

    3 - Claim with the BLS - Also no details. Provide some if you want to discuss.
     
  3. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 New Member

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    1. Well as far as talking with the Union they basically just gave me the run around and said that they were only responsible for giving the annuity company the information that was given to them by my job. my job will not give me any information since I have been terminated.

    2. As far as the termination goes they used people in the company to lie on behalf of the company over something that was not witnessed by anyone other than the person that I spoke with and they also told me that the company had them lie on a statement but I cannot get a statement from them because they are too scared. I had filed a grievance for wrongful firing but the union that they have worked with the company so it's kind of rigged.

    3. The claim with the Bureau of Labor & Industries is basically a list of incidents that I had with the company involving retaliation, harassment, discrimination and also other incidents where they went around my rights while being in the union such as my Weingarten rights. It is the wrongful termination as well.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    1 - Annuity - Was the employer just suppose to take money out of your pay and contribute to the annuity or was the employer supposed to contribute company money to your annuity? If the latter how much money would that have amounted to for the duration of the employment after the probation period?

    2 and 3 - What was the nature of your WC injury? Were you able to continue to work at normal capacity, partial capacity (light duty), or were you completely off work? If off work, for how long?
     
  5. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 New Member

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    1. As far as the annuity the employer was supposed to contribute monthly to the annuity fund per employee. But in the contract it does not State specifically how much per month they are supposed to contribute. But from my statements from the annuity companies which is John Hancock they showed that the company only contributed one time throughout the year and a half that they were supposed to be contributing.

    2. For the injury I sustained a dislocated kneecap I am in the process of still trying to find a surgeon that will perform the surgery that was accepted. I was put to work back on light duty for about a year and then just this past December 2015 I was taken out of work due to missing too much work from my injury. My job was at the point they were harassing me about doctors notes, knowing that I could only get them when I had an appointment with my doctor, and they were trying to terminate me due to the missing of work. So my doctor took me off of light duty and said I could not return to work and that is when they fired me a month later.

    3. When they did terminate me I was out of work bringing in a doctor's note to them. While I was there I was speaking with other employees that I was friends with and me and one of my closer friends from work were horsing around and basically they took that and changed it into me being violent. The reason they said it was violent was because I had tossed a slice of pizza at my friend while we were joking around. The upper management at the time said nothing to me about the incident, but then 5 days later I get a call to come in, saying it was for them to actually give me some paperwork that I had been requesting from them for about 2 weeks. Come to find out they called me in to terminate me for that incident where they said they had multiple statements (which were false) but no proof on video ,and we do have cameras in the building that work, or an actual written statement from a customer that they said so-called complained.
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Did you start getting weekly wage benefits from WC and are you still getting them?
     
  7. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 New Member

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    Yes i am still out of work and i receive a check from workers comp every two weeks.
     
  8. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    I'll skip the annuity part as it isn't clear what should have happened that didn't, and who was responsible for it not happening.

    2.- It is legal to fire you for missing too much work, or for throwing pizza at a coworker, even if you have an open WC claim. If you were of work I don't know why you were even be at the company to throw pizza at someone, but it doesn't matter if such childish behavior is on camera or witnessed or not. You admit you did it and it was inappropriate at best. As for "harassing" you for notes when you are off work, that is what they are supposed to do. What you are supposed to do is turn in a note when you miss work due to your injury. You should only be paid TTD if the doctor actually takes you off work and put it in writing. It isn't clear how much time you took off but your job is only guaranteed for a maximum of 12 weeks. The pizza throwing incident trumps that. Your claim will continue in any case.

    3- If your Weingarten rights were violated, though it isn't clear how, BOLI is not your remedy. First your union, then the NLRA. You haven't shared anything about the harassment, retaliation (for what- and what action), or discrimination so I can't say whether BOLI is the right venue for those.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    One can intuitively conclude that your employer had ulterior motives to fire you. But I think that you would be hard pressed to provide any "evidence" of illegality. Absenteeism is certainly grounds for termination but you wrote that the employer only tried to terminate your employment for absenteeism but didn't. You have no cause of action for something that didn't happen.

    As for the termination for "violence" well, you and your employer have different interpretations about what happened but that doesn't really matter. You admit to "horsing around" with your co-worker and throwing a piece of pizza, That is certainly inappropriate behavior in any workplace and legitimately grounds for termination.

    Consult an employment attorney if you like but I'm not sure I see any recourse there, especially since you are out on claim and collecting your bi-weekly benefits.

    Lastly, the annuity. You might have something there depending on the exact wording of the union contract. You wrote that the contract says the employer contributes monthly but doesn't say how much. There has to be a lot more to it than that in the contract. If you have, or can get, a copy of the union contract, please quote the entire section about the annuity word for word.
     
  10. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 New Member

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    Annuity Fund Contract
    Section 1. The employer will pay to Local 348 Annuity Fund, per month in advance for all non-probationary employees, on the first (1st) day of the month after completing ninety (90) days of employment and on the payroll any day during any month thereafter, to be used by Local 348 Annuity Fund as an Annuity Fund as follows:
    Effective Date: blank
    Amount: blank
    Please see supplemental agreement.
    The Employer shall continue to the Local 348 Annuity Fund for any employee who has a break in employment due to sick disability or workers compensation for a period of three (3) months.
    The Employer is required to make contributions to the Annuity Fund, at the applicable rates set forth in each supplemental agreement.
    Section 2. The Annuity Fund has been created and maintained pursuant to an agreement and declaration of Trust ("Trust"). Said Trust is hereby made a part of this agreement with the same force and effect as if fully incorporated herein. The Employer and Union hereby agree that upon the execution of this agreement they shall be deemed parties to the Trust.
    Section 3. When the Employer is two (2) months or more in arrears in contributions into the Annuity Fund, the Employer shall make those contributions and, in addition, the employer shall deposit a sum equal to six (6) months of contributions (based) upon the number of employees for whom contributions were due in that month preceding the demand for that deposit) into an Annuity Fund savings account. That sum shall remain on deposit during the lifetime of this agreement. The interest thereon shall accrue to the Annuity Fund and the principal shall be applied against any further Employer delinquency that might occur during the term of this agreement. If any further delinquency does arise, during this agreement, the Employer shall be required to satisfy it and keep six (6) months of contributions on deposit. The deposit of said funds shall be made within ten (10) days after notification by the Annuity Fund.
    Section 4. The Employer shall pay all costs and reasonable legal fees incurred or to be incurred in ascertaining and collecting any delinquent payments due to the Annuity Fund.


    That is the how section on annuity funds in the contract word for word. Also I would like to state thate no where in the contract is a supplmental agreement and one was never shown to me.
     
  11. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 New Member

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    As for the harassment, retaliation, discrimination, etc is alot to cover, but it started shortly after I got injured. I worked there for a year injured and was still a top employee, other than the pizza incident. I just felt betrayed, because people admitted to lying for the company and altering times and dates. Its just too much to discuss for me right now, but I do have an attorney for the worker’s compensation claim.
     
  12. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    I don't know who lied about what but as far as your termination, none of that matters. You acted extremely unprofessionally with a coworker and apparently where customers could have seen it/did see it. Whether it was reported to have happened at noon or 2 PM or on Thursday or Friday doesn't make one bit of difference. You admit you threw pizza and that is conduct worthy of termination.
     
  13. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 New Member

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    Ok, even if I threw it for them to catch? Also it was in an area where no customers could have seen. And as for the documents they put false information on it which made up 80% of the statement, and things were also exaggerated to make me look like a bad person and im not.
     
  14. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    How many months were you working for the company between the end of your 90 day probation and December 2015 when you went off work because of the injury?

    Approximately how much were your gross monthly earnings during that period?

    I have a good reason for asking both questions.
     
  15. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 New Member

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    Well I started June 2014 got let go January 2016. So 14 months after the 90 days. As far as gross pay per month I'm pretty sure close to $1,200.
     
  16. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 New Member

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    But I got injured in August 2014.
     
  17. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The reason I asked for that information is because employer contributions to annuities and retirement accounts are generally limited to 3% to 6% of the employee's pay with 6% being extremely generous.

    For 14 months you might end up being entitled to about $500 to $1000 plus some earnings and/or interest.

    It would help if you could get that supplement showing the amount of the contributions required. If you can't get it you are welcome to sue your former employer in small claims court for $1000 or so based on the union contract alone and see what kind of evidence the employer comes back with.
     
  18. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 New Member

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    Ok thank you so much for that info. I definitely will be looking into that, because I know any info I ask them for I will not get.
     
  19. AmberLynn91

    AmberLynn91 New Member

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    Because on the statement I received they only contributed $90. And that was the only time, at the very beginning after my 90 day probationary period.
     
  20. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't matter. The behavior was unprofessional and something an employer need tolerate.

    If you only worked 3 months before going out with an injury, or going out less than a year into your tenure there, they could have legally fired you for being unavailable for work at any time, subject to any leave policies in your union agreement. You would have had to actually work 12 months and 1250 hours to have any kind of job protection under the law and even then, it is limited to 12 weeks. Anything over that is gravy. For 3 months of work, a short period of light duty and more than a year of leave, your employer has gone way above and beyond what is required. they could have terminated you with no reason at all given. You just handed them a good reason on a silver platter. Most employers might be willing to overlook a one time lapse in judgment from a long term and top performing employee, but one who has been off more than they have worked and shows immature behavior on site? That isn't someone an employer is inclined to grant leniency. They have only a few months worth of work to judge you on and during that time, sounds like they had issues with you turning in leave requests and doctor's notes in a timely manner.

    My suspicion is that you have been paid TTD most of this time you were "employed". Odds are that the union contract does not require contributions when you are not actually receiving a paycheck for time worked. If you started in June and got injured in August, you barely had any time worked after the 90 days, hence the low contribution to the annuity.
     
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