SAN FRANCISCO — Employees and boards of trustees have filed suit against an electrical contractor for allegedly failing to make contributions to trust funds.
Alameda County Electrical Industry Service Corporation, IBEW Local 595 Health & Welfare Trust Fund; IBEW Local 595 Pension Trust Fund; IBEW Local 595 Money Purchase Pension Trust Fund; IBEW Local 595 Vacation Fund; IBEW Local 595 Apprentice & Training Fund; Electrical Contractors Trust; Contract Administration Fund; Labor Management Cooperation Fund; Boards of Trustees of the IBEW 595 Trust Funds; and the Board of Directors of the Alameda County Electrical Industry Service Corporation filed a complaint Sept. 12 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against J Copello International Corp., doing business as Copello Electric Co., Jack Copello and Does 1-10, alleging that they negligently failed to fulfill their duty as a fiduciary/trustee.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that trust funds were organized and existed under the laws of the United States as employee benefit plans, providing health and welfare benefits, pension benefits and other benefits to employees and to their dependents and beneficiaries. Under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), defendant Copello is obligated to submit monthly reports of members' work hours and make contributions based upon these hours at rates set forth in the CBA; however, an audit for the period of July 31, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2015, concluded that Copello had under-reported contributions to the trust funds in the total amount plus interest of $75,285.28. The plaintiffs hold J Copello International Corp., Jack Copello and Does 1-10 responsible because the defendants allegedly failed to provide monthly reports of the hours worked by employees and failed to pay contributions set under the CBA.
The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek relief against the defendants, to compel the defendants to provide monthly reports, unpaid contributions, liquidated damages and interest totaling $75,285.28, attorneys' fees and other relief as the court deems just. They are represented by Christine S. Hwang and Andrew J. Ziaja of Leonard Carder LLP in Oakland.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 4:16-cv-05218