Suspended Employees Denied ERISA Disability

Law360, New York (February 13, 2007, 12:00 AM EST) -- An employee suspended without pay cannot qualify for short-term disability benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, an appeals court ruled Tuesday, despite firm opposite from one judge.

Siding with the employer, Rinker Materials Corp., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court’s prior ruling.

Rinker employee William Pollett was suspended without pay for three days at the end of January 2003, after the conveyer belt he supervised malfunctioned and caused $2,000 in damages, according to court documents.

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