Local News

QVC wraps up employee investigation

Posted August 19, 2009 10:48 a.m. EDT

— QVC has completed its investigation into suspected irregularities in more than 200 employees' 401K withdrawals, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Employees at the company's Rocky Mount distribution center were turned away from work earlier this month and placed on temporary unpaid leave, pending the outcome of the probe.

Tara Hunter, a spokeswoman for the televised home shopping network, declined to comment on the company's findings.

"Out of continued respect for all of our employees, the specifics and results of the investigation and the individual meetings with employees will remain personal and confidential," she said in an e-mail to WRAL News.

Employees were notified in a letter on Aug. 5 that the company had detected irregularities in emergency withdrawals from their 401K plans and that they would need to prove the hardship loans were legitimate.

Those who could not were subject to discipline, including termination.

The plant, which employs about 900 people in the Rocky Mount and Edgecombe County community, has imposed a salary freeze, cut back on overtime and hours and started paying employees bi-weekly, instead of weekly, employees said. The changes, they said, have forced them to tap into their 401K accounts.

Hunter said employees returning to work would be paid for any loss of scheduled hours during the investigation.

"As the plan administrator of its 401K Plan, it is QVC's responsibility to ensure that the plan is operating properly and complying with all applicable legal requirements, including the distribution of hardship withdrawals," she said.

"Accordingly, QVC initiated the investigation into the alleged irregularities and took appropriate actions in accordance with its internal operating principles."