How many times have we all “seen” the invisible dog being walked? Maybe too many times. But you probably haven’t seen this situation very often. The case of what I call "The Employee Who Never Was". It seems that a plaintiff filed suit against the plan administrator after being denied the plan’s $2,500 monthly benefit. Problem was, he was never an employee of the plan sponsor. Michael K. Wilson writes about this case in his post, Claimant Denied Benefits From ERISA Plan Sponsored By Company He Never Worked For on The Laconic Law Blog.

Mr. Wilson writes

In a rather strange ERISA case, a plaintiff filed suit after the ERISA plan administrator denied his claim that sought retirement benefits pursuant to a Plan titled Kroger 30-And-Out even though he was never an employee of Kroger.

The case is Beckner v. American Benefit Corp., et. al. (4th Cir. April 10, 2008). The 4th Circuit affirmed the denial of benefits. Here is a link (pdf) to the case courtesy of Mr. Wilson.

This case may seem strange to you perhaps. But not if you’re from the Land of Lincoln. The great State of Illinois and its various political subdivisions has a long history of paying salaries and benefits to people who don’t do any work. Unlike the case discussed above, these folks are, in fact, employees. They just have so much clout they don’t have to bother showing up for work. They even have a name. We call them “ghost payrollers” as for example “The Ghost with a Tan” whose move to Florida didn’t stop his city paychecks.

But if you want to get a job like this, don’t try myspace jobs$. Here’s what you get

No search results found. We couldn’t find any jobs for Ghost payroller. Please check the keyword terms you entered. You can also try using some other keywords, or enter fewer words to expand your search.

It’s the old adage. It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.

Note: Here’s a link to The Laconic Law Blog referenced above with the great tagline, Pithy Commentary On Employment Law In Virginia And Beyond. It’s published by Eric A. Welter, an employment lawyer and litigator with the Welter Law Firm, P.C. in Herndon, Virginia.

Another hat tip to BenefitsLink.