Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Decision Could Cost City Millions; Case Involves Workers Wrongly Steered from Lucrative Pension Plan into Social Security

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Decision Could Cost City Millions; Case Involves Workers Wrongly Steered from Lucrative Pension Plan into Social Security

Article excerpt

Byline: Timothy J. Gibbons

Recompensing Jacksonville employees who were improperly put into Social Security rather than the city pension plan could cost the city half a billion dollars over a 30-year period, an attorney for those employees said Wednesday.

The figure came up in a hearing U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan called for as he makes a decision on dueling motions for summary judgment in a case that started more than two years ago.

Corrigan has not said when he'll rule.

The case focuses on city workers who, for several decades, were directed into Social Security rather than the much more lucrative city pension plan if they failed a physical exam. The practice appeared to have become more common in the years before the lawsuit was filed. The city stopped in 2010.

Wednesday's federal court hearing focused on technical issues, as Corrigan wrestled with the contours of what might be one of the first class-action lawsuits related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

City General Counsel Cindy Laquidara tried to limit the size of that class, arguing that the majority of the 1,500 employees put in Social Security have had the statute of limitations run out on their complaint.

At issue is what action starts the clock on the employees' window of opportunity to sue.

Plaintiffs attorney Bob Sugerman argued the offense happened again and again each pay period.

"Every paycheck, when you don't get the credit, that's a separate violation," he said.

About half of the employees would not be able to sue if Corrigan accepts the argument that time started as soon as they were hired.

The two sides also argued about whether the ADA applied at all, with the city arguing that when it kept people out of the pension plan, it wasn't because they were disabled. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.