Can I expect an employer to give reasonable time to turn in a legal document so that I can keep my insurance coverage?

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Can I expect an employer to give reasonable time to turn in a legal document so that I can keep my insurance coverage?

My husband’s employer recently decided to do an insurance audit. They sent a letter demanding a copy of all of our children’s birth certificates and our marriage license. The problem is they sent the notice on April 27th, and demand the documents to be turned in my May 1st. This company only pays my husband once a month, on the 25th of the month. I also get paid once a month on the 25th and we do not get paid enough to pay the bills as it is, even with both of us working full-time jobs. My husband did not see the email letter

until today. So that now leaves us 21 days to file for birth certificates and our marriage certificate, because I cannot find them. Not only that, it will cost us between $159-$210 to pay the fees, which again, we cannot afford. I barely have enough money to pay for gas to get to work for the next 2 weeks So, the only day we could even send the money to pay the fee, to obtain the certificate would be on the 25th of May. I feel that the employer waiting until after payday to send this notice a bit under handed. Most of our checks are already spent, mostly on bills and food, by the first. We make about $25,000 a year combined. He is a custodian, and I am a Teacher Assistant. I am also working full time and a full time student. Even if we were in a better financial situation, coming up with an extra $159 to order the documents would be difficult and a huge burden. I feel that my husband’s employer has not given adequate time to deal with this situation, especially with the fact they waited until after payday to send the notification. Our children are not currently on our medical insurance because they are on Medicaid but they would not be eligible recipients of his life insurance, if we do not meet their demands, even if we turned it in later. The email explicitly expressed that,

Asked on May 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Idaho

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Fair and reasonable, on the one hand, and legal, on the other, are two very different things. An employer does not need to give you a reasonable amount of time to get these documents--it is your obligation to maintain and provide them (i.e. for future referene, keep copies at home). They also do not have to care that paying for them is a financial burden--the law, unfortunately does not require them to take that into consideration. So while what you describe is "wrong" in many ways, it is legal--they can require this, and you have to find a way to comply.


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