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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

October 18, 2000
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Former GM Employee Not Entitled to Severance Benefits; Turned Down Offer to Work for Plant Purchaser
James v. General Motors (7th Cir., 10/16/2000). Excerpt: "This is a case arising under RISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. sec. 1132 et seq.), and the employee welfare benefit plan we are reviewing gave the plan administrator discretion to interpret its terms. So our role is limited. We may only determine whether the administrator interpreted the plan in an arbitrary or apricious manner when benefits were denied upon a finding that Ms. James 'quit' her job." (United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit)

NLRB: Temporary-Hire Workers Can Join Unions
Excerpt: "In tough rhetoric that condemns its own board's history, and even takes to task one of its members, the National Labor Relations Board reversed nearly 30 years of rulings that had the effect of keeping temporary workers out of labor unions." (Inter@ctive Week)

South Florida Firms Introduce Innovative Programs to Relieve Employees' Stress
(Knight-Ridder / Tribune, via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Bush's Texas Record: Taking Credit for Patients' Rights Where It's Not Necessarily Due
Excerpt: "In tonight's presidential debate, Gov. George W. Bush presented himself as a champion of a patients' bill of rights in Texas, saying he 'brought Republicans and Democrats together to do just that in the state of Texas.' He made the same assertion in television commercials during the Republican primaries. But Mr. Bush was rarely regarded as a leader on the issue in Texas, and his record is mixed." (New York Times; free registration required)

Healthcare a Driving Force in U.S. Elections
Excerpt: "Nearly 9 in 10 U.S. voters say healthcare will be an important consideration when casting their vote for president and Congress this November, according to national survey results released Monday afternoon." (DrKoop.com)

Medicare Bill That Favors H.M.O.'s Faces a Veto
(New York Times; free registration required)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

Graef Crystal: Soul Food in Seattle? CEOs Cite a Role Model
Excerpt: "[Professor George H.] Ball may not have been the sole influence shaping [CEOs John] Stanton, [Peter] van Oppen or even his daughter. Still, how often do you find one person battling for good corporate governance, two others trying to put those notions into practice -- and all three pointing to the same person as their role model? Perhaps someone could arrange for Ball to be the headliner at the next meeting of the Business Roundtable, the top-drawer group of major company CEOs." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Interim Benefits Administratorfor Leading Telecommunications Firm
in NJ
Assistant Relationship Managerfor INVESCO Retirement Plan Services- Denver, CO
in CO

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