- Written by Greg Blueford
In the case Resilient Floor Covering Pension Trust Fund v. Michael’s Floor Covering, Inc., the Ninth Circuit recently reversed a lower court’s ruling and outlined a test for determining successor liability for contributions to pension plans. The Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (“MPPAA”) states that if an employer completely withdraws from a multiemployer pension plan, the employer is liable for the amount of unfunded benefits that have already vested. This is known as withdrawal liability.
The Ninth Circuit held that a successor employer, like Defendant Michael’s Floor Covering, Inc. (“Michael’s”), can be subject to withdrawal liability under the MPPAA so long as: 1) the successor took over the business with notice of the liability; and 2) there is “significant continuity in the business operations” between the original company and its successor. The second factor is by far the most important factor to the analysis. However, the MPPAA provides an exception from liability for employers in the building and construction industries if they have ceased operations entirely for at least five years.
- Written by Jacquelyn Larson
Employers now need to seriously consider whether to include indoor heat hazards in their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (“IIPP”).
It is well known that employers in California must have an IIPP to comply with occupational safety and health standards. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA (“Cal/OSHA”) has particular standards that employers must meet for specific hazards, including standards for outdoor heat hazards. However, in October 2015, the California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (“Appeals Board”) upheld citations made by Cal/OSHA against employers for failing to adequately address indoor heat hazards.