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

UPDATED: May 19, 2012

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UPDATED: May 19, 2012Fact Checked

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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