As Nelson Peltz attempts to take control of DuPont's board, some are concerned that the transition of power may result in DuPont dropping retiree health benefits, Delaware News Journal Online reported in a March 9 article.
Professor Norman Stein, an expert in pension and employee benefits law, weighed in on the controversy claiming that there would be little retirees of DuPont could do to fight a reduction in benefits should Peltz takeover and cut retiree benefits.
"It is very difficult to prevail when a company wants to cut retiree health benefits," he said. "If you don't have a pretty clear contractual right, there is very little you can do. Courts are not very sympathetic to these cases."
Stein said the most effective course of action for retirees facing a reduction in benefits would be to make the matter public in an effort to influence the actions of Peltz. "The strongest weapon they have is the court of public opinion," Stein added. "They can persuade the public, but someone is not going spend $243 million because he wants the public to like them."