Employee benefits are compensation in addition to the salary provided by a specific employer. These payments are offered within a compensation package that is not in the form of cash. Businesses and organizations provide these benefits to attract potential employees and compete with other employers in the job market.
Health insurance and retirement plans are some of the things that come to mind when people discuss employee benefits. Know that every company can offer different compensation packages. However, keep in mind that there are also employee benefits that employers are required to provide by law.
Below are the different types of employee benefits, which include the government-mandated and employer-provided packages.
Types of Employee Benefits Mandated by the Government
Social Security & Medicare Contributions
Social security benefits provide you income once you stop working or retire from your job. Employees who become permanently disabled and are unable to work anymore can also benefit from these. Medicare, on the other hand, provides individuals who are 65-years-old or above—and, in some cases, people with specific disabilities—health insurance programs. These two contributions are paid equally as payroll deductions by the employer and employee.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
In the event that you become ill or get injured on the job, the workers’ compensation insurance can cover your medical bills and lost wages. With a few exceptions, all employers in every state must provide this type of compensation. It can either be provided through a state-run insurance fund or a private insurance company. It’s important to know, however, that if you ever need this benefit, employers or the company pays only a portion of your salary, which is usually two-thirds of it.
Unemployment Compensation Contributions
If you ever lose your job involuntarily, unemployment benefits can compensate you and temporarily replace your steady income until you find another job. State programs provide these benefits within guidelines under federal law. The eligibility for this type of insurance, along with the length and amount of compensation, are also provided by the state. So, understand that if you get terminated—for example, due to willful misconduct—then you cannot collect unemployment compensation.
As a federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides you assistance if you ever need to go on leave from work due to family responsibilities. This type of benefit only applies to employers with more than 50 employees, in which they have to provide eligible employees 12 workweeks of unpaid FMLA leaves during any 12-month period. Eligible employees include those who have worked for an employer for at least 12 months, have completed at least 1,250 work hours during a 12 month period, and have worked at a workplace within a 75-mile radius.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows spouses, children, retirees, and certain employees to continue health benefits from their group health plan after their employment. The coverage usually lasts for 18 months, which can sometimes be extended. Death, divorce, voluntary or involuntary job loss, and transition between jobs are some of the circumstances that make you eligible for COBRA benefits.
Other Types of Employee Benefits Packages
Besides the government-mandated benefits mentioned above, there are different types of employee benefits provided by employers simply because they feel accountable to their workers and want to give them more. Some of these include the following:
- Dental Insurance: Some employers provide insurance that covers a portion of your dental treatment bills. Coverage of dental treatments and procedures and other forms of medical insurance vary from company to company.
- Health Insurance: If an employee works at least 30 hours per week, the employer must provide health care, which may include visits to primary care physicians, hospitalization, emergency, and more.
- Life Insurance: In the event that an employee passes away, life insurance plans provide compensation to a beneficiary. Employees can pay monthly, quarterly, or annually to secure their loved ones financially after their death.
- Retirement Plan: Employers can provide a retirement plan so that their employees can have savings in the future once they decide to retire from their job.
- Fitness: To promote health and wellness in a company, some employers may offer wellness programs. These can include company gym memberships, exercise classes, and stress management to name a few.
For employers, offering these benefits are optional and are covered under a labor agreement. So understand that each employee benefits package would vary depending on your future employer. Furthermore, some employers can also offer bonuses and incentives so that they can attract and retain employees into working for their company.
Seek Professional Legal Advice about Employee Benefits
It’s important to always evaluate employee benefits. Whether you’re still applying for a job or currently employed, review your employee benefits and whether or not they meet your needs. Whatever type of employee benefits packages is offered to you, take full advantage of them.
So if you are not getting the legal benefits under state and federal laws, do not hesitate to seek damages against your employer. Report to your HR department about this concern through a formal letter or email. If you still don’t get any justice from your company, seek labor lawyers in Los Angeles to help you fight for your rights in getting the employee benefits you rightfully deserve.