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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
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A plant that I worked at + years closed down. I was hourly

Customer Question

A plant that I worked at for 21 + years closed down. I was hourly at the time. They gave me compensation when they closed. and vested my retirement.
I went to work for another company as a salary employee. 1 1/2 years later my former company purchased 2 plants and then closed the one I was working at. I was rehired by my former company as a salaried employee. At the time they stated that since I was an employee with the company previously and worked as an hourly employee that all my hourly pension would be converted to salaried retirement after 3 years of employement. In the mean time all years of service would be reconnized for retirement and vactions.
As I started getting getting close to the magic numbers age 55 and 30 years service you can retire early with medical benefits and a slump sume and other normal retirement packages. I had been checking periodically and printing out some of my options. I had infact seen thet I was or had all years of service except for the 1 1'/2 years with the other company. 2 years ago i noticed that there was a hourly retirement amount listed. I questioned why it was there.
A few months later I went to look at my early retirement numbers again and there was no early retirement option listed and notion until age 65 showed up for my retirement. When challenged they referred back to a 2005 salaried hand book stating that if were severed from the company that hourly retirement wouldn't be used because I wasnt in the salary retirement at the time.
This all happened in 1999 of witch I have the hand book. I do have and email communication stating that the plant needed to calculated all my retirement etc.... I was told by a number of HR and a VP that all my preevious years of service would be converted to salary. I was nenied when I challenged it.
I didn't persue right away because I had medical issues with bad hips and knees and was afraid they might find a way to let me go. I've had a hip replacement that went bad broke my femur 10 days later had a revision. etc.. now other complications. and still another hip surgery to go and knee and another hip.
Now the Company annouced that they have selected close this plant.
I 60 years old and need to see if I have a leg to stand on after being promised and then retirement benefits being taken away. I have 40 years of total years of service with this company.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
When is the email from, is it from 1999 or later?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe it is from 1999.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your patience.

I still believe that you have a strong basis under which to challenge their position especially if you can argue that when you were re-hired, it was done with assurances that your pension would not be affected. As such I do believe you have a chance in prevailing. Therefore if HR refuses to agree, you may want to invest into an attorney who can therefore negotiate on your behalf, but in your situation I truly do not see it as a waste of time, money, and resources.


Dimitry, Esq.