District Court Allows ERISA Section 510 Retaliation Claim to Proceed
A federal district court in Pennsylvania concluded that Irene Najmola, a former employee of Chester County Hospital, sufficiently pled a retaliation claim under ERISA section 510 by alleging that her employment was terminated shortly after returning from short-term disability leave.
In so ruling, the court determined that Najmola sufficiently pled that defendant had the specific intent to interfere with her attainment of ERISA benefits by alleging that she:
(1) was an employee;
(2) utilized her ERISA protected short-term disability plan; and
(3) was terminated.
In addition, the Court held that the temporal proximity between the exercise of her short-term disability leave and her termination were sufficient at the motion to dismiss stage to infer that defendants had the intent to interfere with or retaliate against plaintiff for utilizing ERISA protected benefits. The case is Najmola v. Women’s Healthcare Group of Pa., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101583 (E.D. Pa. July 24, 2014).