Can an employer stop payingan employee’sinsuranceifthe employeeis off work on medical leave?

A friend of mine is off work because she had surgery on her back. As part of her promotion at work, her boss paid her insurance for her. Now that she is off work, they are refusing to pay the insurance, even though she is still employed there and holds the same position, just off on medical leave.

Asked on March 28, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your friend's employer's agreement to pay her health insurance would appear to constitute a contract (whether or not in writing).  And a contract is a contract.  Additionally, under the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA";), employers need to continue the employee's health coverage under the same conditions as if the employee were continuing to work during the leave period.  Consequently, her employer can only require her to pay whatever part of the monthly premium that she had been paying (which is 0).  Coverage is under the same terms and conditions during FMLA leave as during regular employment.

Note:  Not all business's are subject to FMLA.  Here is a site that I think your friend will find to be of help:  http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/

At this point your friend may want to consult with an employment law attorney.


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