Layoff & Recall Information Received

On Thursday, November 16, 2018, the USW Local 550 Union received responses to an informational request and list of questions. 

The following information has been received and are posted for our layed off members:

Question 1: "If an employee accepts the Optional Supplemental Severance Benefits and signs the General Release and Waiver, is that employee waiving recall rights provided under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)? 

Answer: No. Because of the unique nature of the transition at Paducah, FRNP will not require a represented employee who accepts the Optional Supplemental Severance Benefit and signs the General Release and Waiver to waive his or her recall rights under the CBA. 

Question 2: "Will the gross amount of benefit have to be repaid if employee comes back to work before 2 years, or if prorated, will it be prorated on the gross amount?"

Answer: The Optional Supplemental Severance Benefit must be repaid on a prorated basis.  The prorated repayment will be determined based on the gross amount paid to the employee. 

Question 3 "Please provide the formula or other method of calculating the prorated portion of the supplemental severance to be repaid."

Answer: The prorated repayment of the Optional Supplemental Severance Benefit will be calculated based on the number of days after October 19, 2017 the employee was not employed by any contractor or subcontractor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) or the National Nuclear Security Administration, for work performed on a DOE-funded project at the Paducah, Kentucky or Portsmouth, Ohio sites. 

For example, an employee who becomes employed by FRNP at 366 days would repay 50% of the gross Optional Supplemental Severance Benefit (365 days unemployed at the Paducah or Portsmouth sites / 730 total Release days. 

Question 4 "How long will employee have to repay the supplemental severance, or prorated portion, if the employee is recalled to work within the 2-year period? (i.e. immediately upon return, or in payments spread out over a period of time)"?

Answer: As noted above, because of the unique nature of the transition at Paducah, FRNP will not require a represented employee who accepts the Optional Supplemental Severance Benefit and signs the General Release and Waiver to waive his or her recall rights under the CBA. 

If the employee otherwise returns to work after more than three months (90 days), the employee will be required to repay the Optional Supplemental Severance Benefit within one year (52 weeks) after the employee returns to work and becomes obligated to repay a prorated portion of the Optional Supplemental Severance Benefit. 

If an employee returns to work within three months (90 days) the employee will be required to repay the Optional Supplemental Severance Benefit within one month (4 weeks) after the employee returns to work and becomes obligated to repay a prorated portion of the Optional Supplemental Severance Benefit. 

Question 5: "Considering that employees will be required to pay federal, state, and local taxes on the supplemental severance payment, and if an employee returns to work within a 2-year period will be required to repay all or a portion of the original payment, on the gross amount, how will this be handled by the employer so the employee will receive reimbursement for the tax amounts that were originally paid on the amount that will be required to be repaid to the employer?" 

Answer: This question is most appropriately directed to an employee's tax professional.

(in other words, you will be taxed at whatever applicable rate, but no repayment or deduction of any taxes paid, will be deducted from the repayment amount, or be re-payed to the employee.)

IF USW Local 550 receives any additional information regarding these issues, or any subsequent questions that we send and inquire with the Contractor and DOE, we will posted the questions and answers as soon as we receive them.