Montgomery ERISA Lawyer
Has your employer and their contracted insurance company denied an insurance benefit you were initially promised? Do you believe your employer is acting recklessly with your pension funds? Did the insurance company your employer contracted with deny your claim for no reason?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you may need the help of a Montgomery ERISA lawyer. ERISA, officially known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, provides hardworking employees with certain legal protections in regards to their employment benefits. These protections can be difficult to understand, but if you believe your employer or an insurer is violating the tenets of this Act, you may want to consider taking legal action with an employment attorney’s help.
What Protections Does ERISA Provide?
ERISA requires employers to act with transparency and honesty when administering and managing employee benefits related to insurance, retirement, and pensions. It also sets forth a variety of federal tax laws to protect benefit plans. If an employer violates ERISA regulations, they can face civil and criminal penalties.
Under ERISA, the following is required of employers and parties responsible for administering employee benefits:
- Employers must provide employees with complete and honest benefit details, as well as clear instructions for using their benefits.
- Employers may not invest employee pensions funds recklessly
- If an employee believes their ERISA rights have been violated, they have a right to seek remedy in federal court
- Employers must provide their workers with their promised benefits after they are employed for a certain length of time
- Employers must provide certain pension benefits if and when a plan is terminated
Companies are also required to give their employees notice if they intend to change plans or insurance providers. If an employer violates any of these rules, a Montgomery ERISA attorney could help an affected employee take civil action.
ERISA and 401(k) Fraud
A 401(k) account provides employees with a significant degree of control over their retirement funds and how they are invested. In addition to this personal control, ERISA still requires companies to act with honesty and prudence regarding employee 401(k) funds. They are not allowed to steal, mismanage, or recklessly invest these funds for any reason.
Unfortunately, some companies and their leaders refuse to adhere to ERISA. There have been many cases across the country involving executives and managers who steal 401(k) funds, charge exorbitant fees, and provide their employees with false information—usually in an attempt to get employees to invest their funds somewhere that would not benefit them. Such actions are considered fraud under federal law, and anyone who commits them is subject to criminal penalties.
ERISA and Insurance Benefits
ERISA also allows employees to appeal unfair insurance decisions. If an insurance provider denies a claim, they must provide the claimant with a clear reason. When an insurance company denies a claim for no rational reason, they may be acting in “bad faith,” which is illegal under ERISA.
If a policyholder believes their insurer is acting in bad faith, ERISA gives them the right to file an appeal. They may need to provide additional information, though, and they may also need the help of an ERISA lawyer in Montgomery to file a successful appeal. If they are successful, they may be able to obtain the benefits they were promised and have rightfully paid for.
Reach Out to a Montgomery ERISA Attorney Today
If you believe your employer or a contracted insurer is in violation of ERISA regulations, you have a right to take legal action. Your employment benefits are protected by law, and if you are paying your premium, you have a right to enjoy the coverage they provide.
The idea of taking legal action against an employer or insurance company may seem farfetched, but it can be done. Reach out to a Montgomery ERISA lawyer today to learn more.