Estee Lauder Inc. will settle an ERISA complaint alleging mismanagement of a company 401(k) plan, according to an agreement in principle filed Aug. 21 in a U.S. District Court in New York.
No terms were disclosed in the notice, which said the agreement was reached via mediation. Details will be provided on Sept. 18 to the court, which must approve a settlement.
The notice was filed by the plaintiffs' law firm, saying it was writing on behalf of the defendants' attorneys in the case of Bilello et al. vs. Estee Lauder Inc. et al.
The ex-employees sued in June 2020, seeking class-action status and claiming that the company and its plan fiduciaries failed to adequately review the costs of the 401(k) plan's investments. They also alleged record-keeping fees were excessive.
The defendants petitioned the court to dismiss the complaint, but that bid was rejected in June 2021.
As of Dec. 31, 2021, The Estee Lauder Cos. 401(k) Savings Plan, New York, had $2.8 billion in assets, according to its latest Form 5500 filing.