The Employee Retirement Income Security Act is an important document with a name that speaks for itself--it gives retired employees the right to a secure income. Some people in Harris, Texas, are aware of the law but few attempt to enforce it through federal court challenges. This is because it is not often necessary for groups to pursue former employers that infringe on employee rights such as this. But a recently concluded case involving a group of retired transit system employees in Louisiana sought to enforce ERISA, who failed to do so.
That group once worked for a privately-held company that operated the New Orleans transit system until the early 1980s. That company, known as New Orleans Public Service Inc., transferred this group of employees to Transit Management of Southeast Louisiana (TMSEL) Inc. after the transit system became publicly held. The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) owned the system while TMSEL operated it. Eventually, the group involved in the legal case would retire from TMSEL.