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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Employee Benefits Discrimination: When an Employer Impacts Health Care

By Dan Atkerson on July 22, 2018

A gavel and a file folderWorkplaces are not required to offer health benefits to their employees, but many companies do as a perk of employment. When these benefits are offered, it’s crucial that they be made available to everyone equally. Sadly, some employers may alter health benefits for certain employees as a discriminatory practice. That’s when working with an attorney is crucial.

The team at our Lewisville, TX law firm would like to consider different forms this kind of employment discrimination can take. We’ll then discuss what steps you can take if you have been the victim of any kind of workplace discrimination.

Federal Laws Protect Worker’s Benefits

Federal laws are in place that protect workers who are offered medical insurance by their employers. These laws mean that benefits should benefit all employees equally regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. Furthermore, benefits cannot be withheld or altered as a form of realization against an employee.

If there are differences in policies based on the age of the employee or due to a disability, these differences in policies must be carefully scrutinized to ensure they do not violate the spirit of equal protection for all.

Proving Lesser Coverage as a Form of Discrimination

One example of discrimination through health benefits is offering an employee a substandard plan. The coverage may not be as good or as extensive as the coverage that other employees receive. Remember that this often impacts not just the employee but his or her household as well. An entire family may be deprived of health and dental benefits due to an act of discrimination by an employer, which is unacceptable.

Treating Certain Medical Conditions Differently

Sometimes the discrimination may involve treating a condition differently than others. Say that a women requires medical treatment for a pregnancy complication or maternity leave for childbirth. Denying benefits to the employee or stigmatizing the employee for using their health benefits as designed could be considered an act of discrimination or employer retaliation. Neither is acceptable as well employees should be treated with respected and respected equally.

Refusing to Provide Coverage

Another example of benefits discrimination is the outright refusal to provide health coverage to an employee. In these extreme cases, an employer may neglect to mention health benefits, or even lie and say that the company does not offer their employees health coverage. These kinds of cases should never be tolerated, especially when racism, sexism, or bigotry of any kind is the underlying reason for these hurtful and harmful lies.

What to Do If You Suspect Workplace Discrimination

If you suspect you are the victim of workplace discrimination and receive no help from your supervisors or HR, it’s important that you contact the Texas Workforce Commission’s Civil Rights Division to file a formal complaint. The Civil Rights Division will be able to investigate the issue with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In addition to filing an official complaint, it’s important to reach out to a workplace law attorney. They will be able to discuss the particulars of the incident with you in greater detail and determine what short-term and long-term legal solutions that are for your case.

Contact Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

For more information about your legal rights and protections when it comes to employee discrimination, be sure to contact an experienced worker’s right lawyer. We are here to help you in your time of legal need.

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