Can an employer pick and choose who is offered health insurance?

I was employed by a company based in Georgia for the past three years. I get a regular paycheck by weekly as does everyone in the company. I even received Christmas bonuses as did every employee. I did not get paid vacation and was not allowed to have company health insurance like all the other employees were given. Is this legal?

Asked on May 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A company cannot discriminate at will in who gets health insurance, but may distinguish on the grounds of type of position (so that certain jobs might get health insurance, other jobs might not), location (certain worksites or offices may get health insurance, while others do not), hours (they can set a minimum number of hours, usually 25, per week too qualify) or on other grounds that draw a meaningful distinction between employee positions. If you feel there is no meaningful distiniction, then this might be illegal, and you should speak with an employment law attorney.

There is even more discretion to discriminate in terms of who gets paid vacation--as long as a company is not discriminating on the basis of specifically protected characteristic, such as employee race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability--it can give some employees vacation but not others.


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