DoL Sues Company For Failure to Restore 401(k) Contributions

May 27, 2004 ( - The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) has filed a lawsuit against Vacuum Research Corporation after the company allegedly failed to restore employee contributions to the company's 401(k) plan.

>The suit, filed in the federal district court in Pittsburgh, alleges that the company and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Hartnett violated provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when the company failed to pay $32,378 to the plan for overdue contributions owed for 1998 to 2001.   Additionally in the suit, Chao v. Hartnett , the DoL alleges that the defendants failed to remit to the plan any employee contributions from 2002 to the present.  

>The suit seeks to require the defendants to restore all losses to the plan with interest and permanently bar Hartnett from serving as a fiduciary to any employee benefit plan governed by ERISA.   In addition, the suit seeks to appoint an independent fiduciary to manage the plan.

At the time of the improper act, Hartnett was a plan trustee for the Vacuum Research plan.   The plan had 18 participants and $268,369 in assets as of December 2000.