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Labor, Benefit and Employment - Electric Utility

An electric utility retained Miller Canfield to defend a putative class action in the Eastern District of Wisconsin challenging a decision to charge early union retirees more than active employees for health coverage. Plaintiffs, a union and four employees, alleged that a series of collective bargaining agreements obligated the company to provide vested insurance benefits to early retirees on the same terms as active employees. The court granted our motion for summary judgment, finding that language in the summary plan descriptions reserved the unilateral right to change benefits. The court also agreed that, at best, plaintiffs enjoyed a right to coverage parity with active employees, not cost parity.