Employee benefit plans are subject to three sets of discrimination
rules: (1) the general employment laws
, including ADEA
, that prohibit an employer from discriminating with respect to any terms and conditions of employment on the basis of race, gender, age, national origin, religion, etc.; (2) the Internal Revenue Code’s prohibition of a retirement plan’s discriminating in favor of highly-compensated employees; and (3) Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA
’s) prohibition of a benefit plan’s discriminating against employees with respect to their benefit plan rights.
A in this case could have a claim if the plan defines him/her as an employee that should be covered by the terms of the plan but the the employer for whatever reason has not/ will not be offering the employee coverage. He/she could claim that he/she is entitled to such benefits as a matter of the plan language, but is being denied the same, which could be a claim under ERISA; assuming A is a person qualified for benefits under the plan. If this is the case A would have a potential claim to benefits under ERISA.
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