Berry v. Wells Fargo & Co., No. 3:17-cv-00304-JFA (D.S.C. 2017)
Plaintiff brought this suit on behalf of all participants of the Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC Performance Award Contribution Plan (the “Contribution Plan”) and the Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC Performance Award Contribution and Deferral Plan (the “Deferral Plan”). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant failed to comply with provisions of the Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by failing to fund the plans and by improperly requiring employees to forfeit vested benefits if they violated non-compete clauses in their employment contracts after they left the company. Defendants contend that their actions were consistent with treatment of so-called “Top-Hat” plans under ERISA, while Plaintiff argues that the Plans do not qualify as “Top Hat” plans. On July 31, 2017, the Court dismissed plaintiff’s claims with respect to the Contribution Plan, while allowing Plaintiff to proceed on the claims involving the Deferral Plan.