'Blind Reliance' Is OK For ERISA Plan Admins

Law360, New York (May 19, 2011, 3:10 PM EDT) -- As demonstrated by the Sixth Circuit's recent decision in Farhner v. United Transportation Union Discipline Income Protection Program, a well-drafted Employee Retirement Income Security Act income protection or severance pay plan should enable the plan administrator to rely on the employer's stated reason for termination of an employee, rather than conducting an independent review of the facts regarding the termination.

In May 2004, Mark Farhner, a trackman and conductor for the Kansas City Southern Railroad sought a three-month leave of absence for "medical reasons." KCSR's human...
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