can a company legally take payment out of a check for Medical benefits when they were never received?

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can a company legally take payment out of a check for Medical benefits when they were never received?

Benefits could be applied for the first day of employment. (4-13-09)However, my husband did not sign up for them until 5-14-09. The company then took more than half of his paycheck for retro payments stating that they could because he was eligible for benefits since day one. However, that is paying for something we never recieved.

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Insurance Law, New Mexico

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

This sounds like a simple question, but it might not be, at all.  Employee benefit plans are a very technical subject.  It's possible that your husband's employer has a health insurance plan that allows new employees to enroll from the beginning of their employment, but otherwise not until limited enrollment periods;  if this is the case, then what the employer did might be the only way he could have gotten coverage now.

However, I wouldn't assume that's the case.  You should start by contacting the health insurance company, and getting (in writing) when your husband's coverage started.  If the coverage wasn't backdated to the same date as the retroactive deductions, then it's time to have a talk with the employer, because taking deductions for non-existent benefits could be a violation of your state's wage and hour laws.

You should discuss all the details of your case, if you have any questions or difficulties with this, with a labor and employment attorney.  One place to find a qualified lawyer in your area is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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