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Infolawyer
Infolawyer, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 53859
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
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I am a retired Federal Government employee. Since I retired

Customer Question

My name is***** and I am a retired Federal Government employee. Since I retired in 2004, I have been working full-time as a contract security officer at a number of worksites. Because I am a federal retiree, I have health insurance through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program and have no need for any additional coverage(s). Everyone working on a government contract receives a health and welfare stipend, the minimum amount of which is established by the Labor Department but it can be negotiated by a Union as part of a collective bargaining unit. I believe this is a requirement of the Service Contract Act. Until 2013, I received the Health & Welfare stipend in my paycheck as part of my gross earnings. With the advent of new Union representation in 2013, I was no longer able to receive the health and welfare contributions as part of my gross pay; instead, it was deposited in a 401K. At the time, I only had to provide the health plan administrator, a company called Humanomics, with proof of group coverage, which I did. Subsequently, all of my health and welfare money was deposited into a 401K account managed by Wells Fargo. This was at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Rockville, Md. and the union's name was the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America or "SPFPA." I stopped working at the NRC at the end of 2013 and was out of work for most of 2014. In December of 2014, I began working full-time as a security officer with MVM Inc. at the Social Security Administration Main Complex in Woodlawn, MD. As it turned out, the officers at the SSA Main Complex were also represented by SPFPA. Early in 2015, I was given an enrollment card for SPFPA, on it were three (3) options with regard to health insurance coverage. I selected the option to "waive" my health insurance because I was already covered. Since then I have "battled" both Humanomics and a second plan administrator, the Boone Group, to get my health and welfare money put into my Wells Fargo account. First, I called Humanomics but they told me it was up to the Boone Group to approve my request. Then the Boone Group referred me back to Humanomics. A Humanomics customer service representative promised to get an answer for me but never did and I had to call them back. At that point, I was told that I needed to provide them with group coverage certification, which I obtained from Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employees Program and sent to them. (Incidentally the form was identical to the one that they had on file from 2013.) But that wasn't enough: More time went by but my contributions were still not going into my 401K. I called Humanomics again; this time, I was told that I had to fill out waiver forms which they would send me. I received the forms and completed them and faxed them back to Humanomics on November 4th. They never notified me that they had received the forms; so, I called back on November 18th to see if they had. I talked to another representative, she told me that they had received them but that they were the wrong forms. In disbelief, I told her "But those were the ones that you sent me!" She told me that she would send me the correct ones but I still haven't received them. At this point, my health and welfare contributions exceed $9,000 but I haven't seen a penny of it and have concluded it may take legal representation. Unfortunately, I am not the only officer at the site who is experiencing the same difficulties with health and welfare money. It should be noted that the Union has not provided any assistance. Could you recommend an ERISA lawyer in the Baltimore or Washington area?
Sincerely,
*** *****
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 12 months ago.

reviewing your facts now.

Expert:  Infolawyer replied 12 months ago.

Normally the union would assist and a letter to the union rep should be a good step. For local erisa counsel, would suggest martindale.com. If you need to file a lawsuit, seeking declaratory judgment and an injunction can accompany the request for monetary relief plus costs, interest and legal fees.

Expert:  Infolawyer replied 12 months ago.

Kindly rate me positively.

Happy holidays.