In 1974, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) came into law with the intention of protecting employee benefits programs and retirement accounts from fiduciary malfeasance. Today, most employers offer various benefits programs to their employees, and these benefits can be incredibly valuable when it comes to handling emergencies and planning for the future. Retirement accounts and welfare disability plans form the bulk of the employee benefits plans covered by ERISA.
ERISA enforces strict requirements for the employers that offer ERISA plans to their employees. While the majority of employers offering these plans comply with all applicable rules and regulations, some unfortunately do not. When employers commit ERISA violations, these incidents can result in tremendous losses for affected employees.
If you believe your employer has committed any ERISA violation, it’s vital to speak with an ERISA attorney as soon as possible. Your legal team can identify the misconduct that has caused your losses and help you explore the full scope of your options for legal recourse. Penalties for intentional ERISA violations can be severe, and it’s vital to have legal counsel you can trust if you want to reach the best possible outcome to your case.
When an employer offers ERISA plans, they are required to adhere to strict rules to maintain ERISA compliance. A few of the most commonly reported ERISA violations in the US include:
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for some employees to recognize when their employer has committed an ERISA violation. When a violation occurs, the employee has the right to seek legal recourse against their employer, and the employer may not engage in any retaliatory action against the employee for asserting their rights. If you believe that your employer has violated their fiduciary duties in any way or has otherwise fallen out of compliance with ERISA, the attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler can help you determine your best options for legal recourse.
A: Many types of employer-provided retirement plans and welfare disability plans fall within the purview of ERISA. Other types of benefits plans exist, but there are special rules for employers’ handling of all ERISA plans. When you sign up for any ERISA plan, the documentation provided by your employer should clearly state that the plan is covered by ERISA and include a complete list of your rights and your employer’s responsibilities under ERISA.
A: The term “ERISA compliant” simply indicates that the employer offering an ERISA plan has met all legal obligations under the terms of ERISA and that they process any interactions related to employees’ ERISA plans in good faith. All employers that offer ERISA plans are provided clear instructions for maintaining compliance, and there is strong incentive for all employers offering these plans to maintain compliance at all times.
A: Some benefits plans provided by employers are ERISA exempt, meaning the rules and regulations that apply to ERISA plans do not apply to these plans. A few examples of benefits plans that typically aren’t covered by ERISA include health savings accounts, liability or casualty insurance plans, unfunded professional development classes, tuition reimbursement plans, and unemployment compensation provided solely to comply with state laws.
A: One of the most challenging aspects of resolving ERISA violations is the fact that most employers are not fully aware of their rights under ERISA. It’s possible for an ERISA violation to occur and the affected employee may not know they have grounds for legal recourse. If you suspect your employer has violated their fiduciary duties under ERISA and/or failed to comply with ERISA regulations in any way, it’s important to speak with a qualified attorney about the issue as soon as possible.
A: Navigating any ERISA complaint will require interacting with at least one insurance company, and these interactions are rarely easy or pleasant. Having experienced legal counsel assist you with your ERISA case makes every aspect of your proceedings easier to manage and more likely to yield a positive outcome.
The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler have extensive professional experience handling ERISA violation cases for our clients, and we can leverage this experience on your behalf. If you are ready to learn how an experienced attorney can help you resolve your employer’s ERISA violation and secure the benefits you need to recover, contact our team today to schedule your consultation.