Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Top 9 Things You Need to Know About Your Employee Benefits

I sometimes have people tell me they started their new job and then found out there was no health insurance. They express shock -- but they have to give me insurance, don't they?

No, they don't. There is no law requiring any employer to provide any particular benefits to employees. There are some tax incentives for employers to provide benefits like health insurance and 401(k) plans, which is why so many do (that, and the executives want them). Also, some large businesses have to pay an assessment if they don't provide health insurance for employees.

You should always ask about benefits before you accept a new job. The time to negotiate is before you accept, not after you start.

Even though employers don't have to provide benefits, once they do, the benefits are regulated by law. Here are some things you need to know about benefits you might get in your new job, what happens to your benefits when you leave, and the federal laws that govern benefits.

Read more on AOL Jobs.

Thanks again to Gina Misiroglu of Red Room for putting me in touch with the AOL people!


  1. Hey, I have a question/post idea for you:

    Can you talk a bit about H1-B visas? I'm curious under what circumstances they can be used by employers and how those employees are supposed to be treated compared to employees who are citizens or have permanent residency.

    I don't know if that's your area or not, but it's something I've been curious about for a while.

    Thanks, and you have an amazing blog!

  2. I'd also like to see a post on H1-B visas. I work in the translation industry, and time and time again see H1-B visa holders getting jobs over Americans. It happened to me recently - I was laid off from my job, and applied to a job at a competitor. My friend, who is on an H1-B, also applied to the same company. My H1-B visa friend got the job over me, the American. This is not the first time this has happened in my field.

  3. I'll see what I can do on the visa issue. It's more of an immigration law question than employment law, but I'll check it out. It will probably be a few weeks before the post goes up, so stay tuned.

  4. This is one of the most incredible blogs Ive read in a very long time. The amount of information in here is stunning, like you practically wrote the book on the subject. Your blog is great for anyone who wants to understand this subject more. Great stuff; please keep it up!
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  5. Thanks Shobhana! I'm so glad you enjoy it. A book is in the works, so stay tuned.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.