I was laid off and my final paycheck had medical and dental premiums withheld, how do I get this money refunded?

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I was laid off and my final paycheck had medical and dental premiums withheld, how do I get this money refunded?

Since our premiums are paid a month in advance, how do I get this money returned? The insurance was cancelled at the end of the month. The owner was contacted but he said this would be looked into after the current audit.

Asked on June 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you had been dealing directly with the insurer, you'd look to them for the refund. In this case, you need to look to your employer, since your employer was the one who debited the money from your checks and then paid the net amount for all the employees to the insurer.

If the employer doesn't pay, you can try your state labor department, to see if they or perhaps the division of insurance will help you. As a practical matter, they may not--this is likely a small matter for understaffed, overworked agencies. You could also bring a legal action, including one in small claims court (no need for a lawyer; cheaper and faster). You'd probably sue on the basis of breach of contract--money was taken per the implicit employment agreement between you and your employer (they provide medical, etc. for you for working there), but you didn't get the agreed-upon insurance.

Technically, they needed to pay in full in your last paycheck. As a practical matter, IF they expect to be done with the audit very shortly, you may wish to give them BRIEF period of time to examine thhe issue. But if you're talking for than a week or two more, you may wish to file the lawsuit to make sure you preserve your rights (assuming they don't pay in the interim).


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