The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear a challenge to an appellate court decision forcing CBS Inc. to pay early retirement benefits that were offered to Westinghouse Electric workers and then rescinded before they were laid off in the mid-1990s. CBS acquired Westinghouse Electric Corp. in 1995 and was itself acquired by Viacom Inc. last year.
At issue in Harry Bellas v. CBS Inc. were "permanent job separation benefits that allowed older workers to retire early with full pensions, rather than face layoffs. Westinghouse initially offered such benefits, but then amended its plan in 1994, first limiting and then eliminating the provision.
Susan Duffy, a spokeswoman for Viacom, declined to comment.