PENSION OFFSET, Employee contribution
CITE AS: Solgat v Accurate Mechanical, Dickinson Circuit Court, No. D94-8517-AE (June 29, 1995).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Clement Solgat
Employer: Accurate Mechanical
Docket No. B91-16599-123338W
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where union employees receive a lump economic package pursuant to a labor contract and they decide how much to allocate to wages and how much will be devoted to fringe benefits such as pensions, the contribution to the pension fund is entirely that of the employee.
FACTS: Claimant was denied benefits after being laid off for lack of work in November 1990, because he was receiving a pension. Claimant had been a union pipefitter for many years. His union negotiated labor contracts under which employers agreed to pay pipefitters a certain amount of money. The union members then decided how much of the hourly rate would be paid to them in wages and how much would go to pay for various fringe benefits including the pension fund. The employers paid the lump sum amount for fringes directly into a fringe benefit fund. The balance was paid in wages.
DECISION: Claimant is entitled to receive unemployment benefits.
RATIONALE: The fact that taxes were not deducted from the funds forwarded to the union does not alter the fact the earned funds of the employees in the hands of the employer belonged in total to the employees. The employer merely disbursed it as directed once it had been earned by the performance of labor. "The plan was that of the employee and the contribution to the plan, in total, was that of the employee."
24, 17, d12: J