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Argued September 26, 2001

OPINION OF THE COURT

This case requires us to decide whether S 510 of the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. S 1140, applies to rehiring decisions. Plaintiffs are former employees of defendant Mack Trucks, Inc., who lost their jobs when Mack closed its Allentown plant in 1987. Some plaintiffs had vested pension rights at the time they were laid off. Others merely had credit for past service. In 1997, when the economy had improved, Mack needed to hire workers for its Macungie plant. By this time, all the plaintiffs had either exhausted or forfeited any recall rights with Mack. Mack declined to rehire plaintiffs because to do so would create a future pension liability disproportionately greater than that incurred by hiring employees without past service or pension credit. Plaintiffs contend that Mack’s decision amounts to unlawful “discrimination” under S 510 of ERISA.

 
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