Labor Law -- 2019

Zino v. Whirlpool Corp.   (6th Circuit)

Whether collective bargaining agreement entitles retirees to vested healthcare benefits for life.

The NAM filed an amicus brief supporting Whirlpool in this appeal to the Sixth Circuit. The issue is whether a collective bargaining agreement provides health benefits for life absent explicit language that the agreement provides for such benefits. Previously, the Sixth Circuit has provided conflicting holdings in similar cases, at times holding that the collective bargaining agreements do not provide such lifetime benefits and at times reading them into the agreement. However, in Tackett, the Supreme Court held that using ordinary contract principles, parties to collective bargaining agreements would not intend retiree benefits to vest for life if not explicitly stated in the agreement. The NAM encouraged the Sixth Circuit to provide a clear standard that does not conflict with Tackett, which it did by holding that the agreement did not provide lifetime health benefits.

Related Documents:
NAM amicus brief  (January 12, 2018)


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