What can I do if my employer kept my disability payments that I paid in?

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What can I do if my employer kept my disability payments that I paid in?

I’m a long haul truck driver. I live in TN and work for a company out of NE. Well they recently relocated to IL but I see both addresses still used. I paid for critical care, short and long term disability insurance for 2 1/2t years now through weekly deductions. The end of October I had a DOT physical and was medically disqualified from driving. I filed a claim with the insurance carrier and the claim was denied because the insurance lapsed. Come to find out my employer made the last payment back in January when they moved. What do I do?

Asked on November 21, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You probably have grounds to sue your employer. There was a contract between you and they that in exchange for working (doing your job) and also paying certain premiums, they would provide you with disability insurance. From what you write, you were honoring your obligations under that contract--working and  making premium payments; the company therefore had to honor its obligations and maintain the coverage. They absolutely could not keep the money you paid without providing what you paid for; therefore, you may be able to sue them for breach of contract. You may also, if what they did was done with criminal intent, be able to sue them for a form of theft (possibly the one known as "conversion"). One of the things you may be able to sue for is the "benefit of the bargain"--i.e. for the insurance you should have received. If they can't actually provide it, it's not impossible you could get the company to pay some or all of what you should have received from the insurance; it is definitely worth it for you to consult with an attorney about your situation and your potential recourse. Good luck.


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