Brunel, the Complaint alleges, did not notify employees of their entitlement to COBRA coverage or of their right to obtain coverage at a reduced rate as authorized by Congress in its recent economic stimulus package. According to the Complaint, when asked for a COBRA package by a terminated employee, Brunel advised the former employee that COBRA coverage was not available. Even after being notified by the U.S. Department of Labor that the former employee was entitled to elect COBRA coverage at the statutorily reduced rate, the Complaint alleges that Brunel did not offer the coverage.
The Complaint seeks an injunction requiring Brunel to bring its health care plan into compliance with the law and an order requiring Brunel to reimburse former employees and their beneficiaries for certain health care costs they would not have incurred had they been allowed to elect COBRA coverage. In addition, the Complaint seeks civil money penalties of up to $110 dollars a day for Brunel' failure to provide statutory notices describing the Plan and apprising employees and their beneficiaries of their COBRA rights as required by law.