Community College Instructors Health Benefits Case
Mader v. Health Care Authority
Class action brought on behalf of part-time community college instructors who worked continuously for many years but were denied health care benefits in the summer even though full-time instructors, who did not work in the summer, received health care benefits. The Supreme Court ruled that the HCA must examine the instructors’ work situations, not the form of their contracts. After remand on May 14, 2004, the Court approved settlement of more than $11 million to compensate instructors for past summers when they should have received health insurance.
All present and former part-time “academic employees,” as that term is defined in RCW 28B.50.489(3), who, while working at one or more college districts, at any time: (1) worked half-time or more in the Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters or who worked half-time or more in just the Winter and Spring Quarters and who did not receive employer-paid health coverage in the following summer; or (2) worked on average half-time or more in the Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters (but less than half-time in one or more of those quarters) and who did not receive employer- paid health coverage during the following summer or the instructional year.
The Settlement Agreement provided funds to compensate certain instructors for past summers when they met the qualifying criteria but did not receive health insurance. After deducting employment taxes the State Board paid or will pay in connection with the payments to class members and the estimated costs the State Board incurs in efforts to contact class members whose checks are returned or class members who do not cash their checks, the remaining funds were distributed pro rata by late September 2006 by the State Board to Qualifying Class Members (except those already paid), as described in paragraph 53(f) of the Settlement Agreement. Federal employment taxes will be withheld from class members' checks and class members received a W-2 form in January 2007.
More details on the settlement agreement and process are available at the website for the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges. Questions should be directed to the Settlement Administrator at (360) 704-4303.
The Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement Agreement (below) explains the general terms of the settlement
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