December 03, 2019

Kim Jones Comments on Supreme Court ERISA Litigation Case

Leading up to the oral arguments being held in Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee v. Christopher Sulyma, Law360 and Bloomberg Law turned to ERISA Litigation partner Kim Jones for insight into the case.

Both publications report that the oral arguments in Intel v. Sulyma will give the justices the opportunity to resolve a circuit split on the question of what triggers a three-year statute of limitations for ERISA fiduciary-breach class actions.

Workers typically have six years to file these suits, starting on the day the fiduciary breach occurred. But employers can ask a judge to invoke a three-year statute of limitations if they can prove the worker gained “actual knowledge” of the breach on a certain day.

In the article, “Intel Case, DOL Rule Could Build ERISA Shield for Employers,” Jones told Law360 that a court ruling in Intel’s favor would “encourage participants to boost their knowledge of what’s going on. Does the court want to send a message that you don’t have to look at anything?”

She added, “You’re not taking away their rights; you’re giving them three years to look at something and follow it and make an informed decision.”

Jones also told Bloomberg Law that “requiring a participant to know there was an actual violation or wrongdoing, which seems to be what the Ninth Circuit held, seems like a high threshold.”

In addition, Law360 also reviewed the Department of Labor’s proposed electronic disclosure rule, which would allow companies to email out all plan information unless workers opt out.

Jones believes the proposed rule will pass, but that “it might be modified in some way.”

She added that “there definitely seems to be some power behind it.”

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