West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board v. Benny Jones
The West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board appeals the order that reversed the Board's final order denying Respondent-Employee's request to participate in the Public Employees Retirement System ("PERS"). Respondent, the attorney for the Raleigh County Emergency Services Authority was hired as a "full time" employee with a promise of PERS eligibility. Respondent worked for the Authority-at most-200 hours a year, but was required to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Board found that respondent was not a full time employee because he worked less than 1,040 hours per year and, therefore, was not eligible for retirement benefits. The circuit court (1) reversed the Board, (2) found that respondent was a full time employee, and (3) found that the Board was equitably estopped from denying eligibility for benefits because the Authority (respondent's employer) had promised eligibility and respondent had relied to his detriment on the promise.