Minnesota Employee Benefits Attorney

Employee Benefits

Employee benefits are a form of compensation other than salaries and wages paid by an employer. Some employers elect to offer these benefits such as vacation pay, retirement savings, health insurance, stock options, etc.

Such benefits are elective in that there is no law requiring an employer provide them. However once employers choose to provide benefits they must be administered to employees according to the law. For example, it is illegal to provide benefits that exclude or discriminate against certain groups of employees. It is also illegal to provide benefits that violate other contracts or agreements, for example those found in an employee handbook. In fact, some employee handbook provisions constitute a binding contract between employer and employee. If an employer retaliates against an employee for attempting to enforce the employee’s rights, that can be the basis for a claim for damages by the employee against the employer. Our law firm, Tarshish Cody PLC can explain how the law may protect or compensate employees with any of these grievances. Call 952-361-5556.

ERISA, Employment Retirement Income Security Act

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that regulates some types of employee benefits. If private employers offer benefits such as retirement plans, pensions, and 401(k)’s, or welfare plans such as health insurance, then those benefits are regulated by the ERISA law.

For instance, employers must inform employees in detail about these benefits, and companies are required to obey minimum standards for participation, and what benefits are included. Companies must administer their plans in the best interests of the employee. Should a company terminate its benefits, it is required to offer alternative options or compensation in its place.

Employees can bring civil claims under ERISA to enforce their rights under company benefit programs. Here are some kinds of violations that may lead to civil claims:

  • Where the employer refuses to pay covered medical expenses for the employee or family members that are designated in the plan.
  • The employer’s plan declined coverage for a medical procedure covered in the plan documents.
  • The employer failed to contribute its share of payments to the benefit plan.
  • After retirement, the employer’s pension failed to pay required benefits.
  • The company provided or recommended a broker or investment manager who then mismanaged investment funds leading to lose money.
  • The employer retaliated against its employee {discipline, discriminated against, expelled, fined, suspended, for attempting to implement the employee’s rights under ERISA.
  • The employer failed to provide written confirmation of promised benefits in the benefit plan.
  • The employer inappropriately categorized an employee as an independent contractor, rather than as an employee, which excluded the employee from benefit plans due as an employee.

The law firm of Tarshish Cody PLC will advise an employee of all legal rights including a civil suit for damages to recover benefits, such as rights to future benefits, access to benefit plan information, or to enjoin the employer from continued violations of plan benefits to an employee. Call and speak to our attorney now at 952-361-5556 (or fill out the free case evaluation form below).

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