CHICAGO, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A Cook County Circuit Court Judge today certified a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of 1,150 non-union employees of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago ("MWRD" or the "District") seeking to restore $38 million in deferred compensation benefits illegally eliminated by a November, 2010 action of the MWRD Board of Commissioners.
This class action lawsuit was filed in December, 2010 by 27 current MWRD employees seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the District, which had eliminated vested and accrued termination and sick leave pay for all non-union employees, effective January 1, 2011. In December, 2010 these plaintiffs obtained temporary restraining orders preventing the application of the policy adopted in November, 2010 to those plaintiffs forced to retire early without their full pensions by December 31, 2010 or lose tens of thousands of dollars in these deferred benefits.
On January 25, 2012, Judge Billik's ruling granted the named plaintiffs partial summary judgment, holding that the MWRD employment handbooks and policies created a right to these vested and accrued benefits. The Court also found that plaintiffs hired prior to November, 1994 had the right to future accrual of these termination and sick leave pay benefits that could not be unilaterally eliminated by the District because these Plaintiffs were hired prior to the date when the District's Employee Handbook first contained clear language disclaiming that the policies could not constitute an enforceable contract.
The Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from Hogan Marren, Ltd. Patrick E. Deady, one of the partners of the firm, said the termination and sick pay benefits accrued through December 31, 2010 for all 1,150 employees, were estimated to be $25 million and projected future benefits for the 400 pre-November, 1994 employees were estimated to be $13 million.
For a copy of the August 8, 2012 and January 25, 2012 rulings of Judge Billik, go to www.hmltd.com or call (312) 946-1800, ext. 439.
SOURCE Hogan Marren, Ltd.