Dallas benefits lawyers help clients resolve problems with employee benefits in Dallas, Texas and surrounding cities. In Texas employee benefits may be protected by federal law, Texas law or not protected at all as a voluntary benefit. When employee benefits are protected by federal or Texas employment law the employer must operate the benefit plan within the law. Employee benefit lawyers in Dallas, Texas help clients recover for losses when employers fail to follow the law.
Employee benefits laws in Dallas, Texas
Employee benefit plans are expensive to operate so employers have a financial incentive to evade following employee benefits law to reduce their costs. Texas employers do not have to offer any benefits except minimum pay requirements and health insurance under the ACA. Some benefits are completely voluntary and employers are free to change or eliminate benefits at will unless an employment contract says otherwise. These include vacation pay, paid sick leave and equipment reimbursements.
Public agency employees, both federal and Texas, receive protection for benefits under federal and Texas laws specific to those benefits. For federal employees these include military benefits, postal service employee plans and other federal retirement plans. Texas employees receive medical and retirement plan benefits protected under Texas state law.
Texas employees of private employers receive protection for certain benefit plans under ERISA and related federal laws. ERISA protects most employee benefit plans including:
- 401k plans
- 403b plans
- Defined benefit pension plans
- Health care and health insurance plans
- Some severance benefits
- Cafeteria plans
- Short and long term disability plans
Employers do not have to offer ERISA plans except when the ACA applies; however, if an employer offers an ERISA-protected benefit plan then it must comply with ERISA.
ERISA benefit plans in Texas
ERISA sets a high standard for plan administration. The high standard increases costs to ensure the benefit plans operate fairly, prudently and in the best interests of the Texas employer’s employees. Common ways employers try to cut corners and violate ERISA include:
- Retroactively cutting benefits
- Picking plan investments that benefit the plan rather than participants
- Self-dealing with plan resources
- Stealing money from the plan
- Failing to maintain required records
- Delaying or refusing requests for benefits in violation of plan rules
- Improperly changing plan rules to benefit executives over other employees
If your employer violates ERISA then you should contact Dallas benefit lawyers right away. ERISA allows employees to recover lost benefits, attorney fees and other remedies. ERISA also requires employees and retirees to follow specific procedures to pursue a claim.
Dallas benefit lawyers for Texas employees
Employees rely upon benefit plans for retirement savings, health care, disability and other important areas of life. Access to these benefit plans and protecting benefits earned through work is extremely important. Employee benefits lawyers in Dallas, Texas like Adam Kielich understand how messing with these benefits can significantly mess with your life.