Hall County employees – overwhelmingly first responders – officially served the Hall County Board of Commissioners with a $75 million class-action lawsuit during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting on January 12. More than 100 employees, with the help of Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP Lead Counsel, Michael Kramer, and Managing Partner, Ed Buckley, came together before the meeting to prepare to serve the county with the suit at exactly 6 p.m.
Employees came to Kramer and Buckley to file the suit against the Hall County Board of Commissioners, the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), and The Government Employee Benefits Corporation of Georgia (GEBCORP) for depriving them of millions of dollars in pension benefits. Employees wanted to officially seek retribution for benefits that were unlawfully withheld from them, and public-serving was aimed to put pressure on the commissioners and fight for the justice they deserved.
The suit is a complex one, having to do with a “freeze” on retirement pension benefits that was instituted by the county. Upon investigation, Attorneys Buckley and Kramer found that Hall County discriminated unlawfully against select individuals by exempting retirees from a pension freeze – this applied to employees who retired between 1998 and 2008.
The lawsuit stated that the county “made no additional employer contributions for plaintiffs to the ‘trust fund’” after this time.
The suit included an example of one employee in particular. 1st Lt. Bradford Rounds was hired by the Hall County government in 1988, and now receives only $389 per month in “frozen” benefits. Per the current pension plan formula, Rounds should instead be getting $2,567 in monthly benefits. This is just one example of unlawful behavior.
Kramer stated that the class included some 70 current county employees and 30 more who retired after July 1, 2008.
Volunteer for Hall County Fire Services, Chaplain Mike Taylor, stated in the invocation at the meeting, “As we come tonight, we’ve got a sampling of concerned employees tonight, and I pray — all of us pray — that with their presence here that a new dialogue would open. And we give you thanks at the beginning of that dialogue that we live in a country that is ruled by law and order, and there’s an organized and civil way of solving our differences.”
Have you been treated unfairly by your employer? Whether you have had your pension benefits denied or are facing workplace discrimination based on race, age, or gender, Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP may be able to assist you. Our staff of Atlanta employment lawyers has more than 85 years of combined experience protecting the rights of Georgia workers, just like the Hall County employees in this suit. When you’re facing a major issue, make sure you have a high-power law firm in your corner fighting to put the law on your side.
Contact Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, and let us review your case today, starting with a free initial case evaluation.