Can an employer give benefits to some full-time employees but not to others?

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Can an employer give benefits to some full-time employees but not to others?

Must all employees be treated fairly across the board if benefits (PTO, health insurance, etc) are being reduced?

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Employers may not discriminate on a protected basis in terms of benefits or compensation--for example, it could not provide less or fewer benefits on the grounds of race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability. Also, certain benefits (like retirement benefits) have their own particular rules about who has to be included in the plan--though other benefts (like PTO) do not.

However, there is no general requirement that every job have the same benefits, so it would be permissible for certain full time jobs to not have the benefits provided with other jobs. It's also permissible to have certain locations (e.g. offices) have different benefits than other ones.

So the answer is, that in many, but not all cases, it is legal to provide lesser benefits to some employees. To understand whether it is legal in this specific case, you should consult in detail with an employment law attorney.


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