Claims about severance benefits preempted by ERISA

Among several other holdings in Clayton v. ConocoPhillips Co., the Fifth Circuit agreed that state law claims about benefits due under a severance plan were preempted by ERISA, when “an ongoing administrative program” is necessary because of discretion in the plan about eligibility, and when the plan is not fairly characterized as “a one-time, lump-sum payment triggered by a single event.” No. 12-20102 (July 3, 2013).

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