The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, known simply as ERISA, was created by federal lawmakers to ensure that employees were treated fairly by their employers when it came to benefit plans. Although it may sound like ERISA is only a law that deals with retirement plans and pensions, it actually has a much further reach. Generally speaking, ERISA is important when dealing with any employee welfare benefits plan, including but not limited to:
- Retirement plans, pension plans, and 401K plans
- Disability benefits, such as long term disability benefits
- Healthcare benefits
- Company stock benefits
- Life insurance benefits
- Vacation leave benefits
- Sick leave benefits
When do employees need the help of an ERISA attorney? If you have been wrongfully denied any kind of benefit by your employer, you should fight back for what is justly yours under the law. Because ERISA is a federal law, you will need to go through Federal Court in order to resolve your matter. The process usually begins with an internal appeal. Because this appeal involves gathering evidence and building your case, you may wish to speak with an employment law attorney at this point to assist with your case.
Reasons Why You May Need an ERISA Attorney
- You were injured at work but your short-term disability claim was denied by the insurance company.
- You participated in your company’s stock option plan only to discover that their illegal business practices hurt their stock performance—and your retirement plans.
- Your company is not giving you the pension that they promised and that you deserve.
- Your spouse unexpectedly dies, but his or her company life insurance plan unfairly denies your claim.
Many people—including attorneys and those in the insurance industry—are unfamiliar with ERISA law and ERISA litigation. Speaking with a lawyer who has experience with these cases can help ensure that you are awarded the employee benefits that you need and deserve.
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