Rose Law Sues City of South Lake Tahoe for Retired Public Servants to Enforce Vested Medical Benefit Rights

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A federal lawsuit filed by Rose Law yesterday in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of California alleges the City of South Lake
Tahoe is reneging on promises made to some 160 retired public servants
of continued health benefits during retirement. This comes as health
care costs rise while retired public servants living on fixed incomes
are disproportionately squeezed with escalating prescription, co-pay,
hospitalization and other health care costs. City of South Lake Tahoe
seniors fear financial ruin as their health care deductibles ratcheted
to $5,500 per year, while younger, active City employees receive cash
subsidies to pay for rising premiums, the lawsuit says.

The plaintiff, City of South Lake Tahoe Retirees Association, says the
retirees were guaranteed the right to maintain membership in the City’s
health care plan indefinitely by City Council resolutions dating back to
at least 1988. The lawsuit explains retirees were granted, as a vested
benefit, escalating levels of City-paid premium subsidies depending on
years of service to the City. Many retirees continued in public service
at wages lower than their private sector counterparts in reliance on the
repeated promises of health premium assistance in retirement, says the
Association.

The retirees say despite almost three decades of promises, in January
2015, the City Council adopted a resolution forcing retirees into the
lowest and most expensive tier of a new tiered health plan and abolished
their dental coverage completely. Retirees are not given the option to
purchase better coverage at their vested contribution rates based on
years of service, alleges the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the City has a $4 million dollar Retiree
Health Fund set aside, so the promise of lifetime health care for 160
retirees is not a burden or unfunded liability to the City.

Rose Law attorneys sent a letter to the City of South Lake Tahoe in June
demanding the City return the Retirees to the level of health care
before the January Resolution or engage in discussions to solve the
crisis, but the City’s lawyer rejected the retirees’ plea. The
Association says it had to sue the City of South Lake Tahoe in Federal
Court to protect the rights of the most vulnerable seniors.

About Rose
Law
Working Hard for Working People®

The retirees are represented by trial lawyers Joe
Rose
and Lisa
L. Bradner
of Rose Law, APC in Gold River, California. Rose and
Bradner help employees, retirees, and unions in labor law matters
involving unpaid wages and overtime, vested benefits, illegal
discrimination, retaliation, and other employment related matters.

Contacts

Rose Law
Joe Rose, 800-456-3767
Lisa L. Bradner, 800-456-3767
legalteam@joeroselaw.com