An employee filed suit alleging employer terminated his employment in retaliation for complaints he made about the employer not funding his retirement account and health savings account. The Seventh Circuit held that “as a matter of first impression, employee’s conversations with employer regarding his retirement account complaints involved an ‘inquiry’ under ERISA.” The Court concluded that ‘the best reading of Section 510 is one that divides the world into the informal sphere of giving information in or in response to inquiries and the formal sphere of testifying in proceedings. This means that an employee’s grievance is within Section 510’s scope whether or not the employer solicited information. It does not mean that Section 510 covers trivial bellyaches – the statute requires the retaliation to be “because” of a protected activity.” George v. Junior Achievement of Cent. Indiana, Inc., 694 F.3d 812 (7th Cir. 2012), as amended on denial of reh’g (Sept. 24, 2012).
Leave a Reply