How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Debra Your Own Question
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101008
Experience:  Lawyer
Type Your Canada Law Question Here...
Debra is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a question about labour laws In Calgary Alberta. What

Customer Question

Hi there I have a question about labour laws In Calgary Alberta.
What is the law regarding what an employers requirements are regarding benefits offered specifically to full time employees ( which Chelsea was working) and specifically regarding basic life insurance.
Typically is basic life not offered to employees at no cost to the employee?
I have been in dealings with my dearly departed daughter's employer and the Insurance company since her death in August of 2015
and am getting evasive and conflicting answers as to why there are no benefits to Chelsea having to have worked full time for the greater part of a year.
She passed away August 25/2015 and the insurance company is saying benefits would not have kicked in as of September 1-2015, 6 days after her passing .This makes no sense to me and believe they are being dishonest somehow.
We were also told by her employer that she opted out of her benefits. You don't opt out of basic life it is automatically provided in most cases.
Please help to clarify and I would be extremely grateful for any information you can provide.
Thank you
and kind regards ***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry for your loss. Who is the executor of her estate?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Received a letter from Standard life insurance dated November 2/2015 stating there are no benefits to be paid because she was a part time employee which is inaccurate. In speaking to human resources from her employer on Monday Nov 9/2015 she said my daughter wasn't part time and wanted a copy of the letter faxed/emailed to her . She also mentioned Chelsea opted out the first time around for benefits and second Go Round was most likely near the time of her passing . She couldn't confirm when the second go around was that the benefits were offered.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Did you see my questions?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am looking after her estate details
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

But have you been appointed as administrator by the court?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No the bank was looking into that and was supposed to contact me with particulars.
She has no will and or assets.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Are you alleging that she would have had benefits and with those benefits would have been life insurance that came automatically and was for free?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the insurance company i think is being untruthful regarding reason for denying coverage because as they put it she was a part time employee . as per my conversation with HR person of her employer she agreed that wasn't the case.
She was a full time employee during and after the probationary period of employment therefore she should have
had benefits offered and if she opted out she was required to sign a refusal to join form .
She had started to work with the company before september 1-2014 according to her letter of employment .
Under the insurance details benefits are compulsory and if she hadn't opted out or didn't want additional benefits over and above what was offered there should be a basic life premium that she should be entitled to .I'm going to ask for a copy of that refusal form if there was one . If there appears to not be a form on file, what are my rights to pursue this ?
Am I being clear on my stand with all this ?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Yes that is clear.

The reason why the insurance company cannot provide you with details is that you have no legal right to them. Only the administrator appointed by the court has a legal right to these details unless there is a court order.

So the insurance company actually isn't necessarily being evasive but simply cannot provide you with that information. It be a unlawful to do so.

It sounds to me that your daughter may have opted out because that's what you were told originally. So if she opted out of insurance coverage then this matter would be done.

If for some reason the employer submitted information stating that she was not eligible for the benefits because she was not permanent but she was then you may have a lawsuit against the employer. But it wouldn't be against the insurance company. The insurance company is only liable if she was paying premiums or the employer was paying for her and then they were covering her. So it may be that you have to go after the employer and not the insurance company.

In my view your best next up would be to retain a lawyer and have the lawyer write a letter to both the employer and insurance company demanding information and he threatening a lawsuit.

Your allegations are quite significant because you are really alleging that the insurance company is committing fraud. If you arec correct the damages will be significant but you need to be sure because that's a very serious allegation and it's unlikely that insurance company who is well-established would say that someone didn't have life insurance when they did.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did sound as though I'm being accusatory more towards the insurance company but in fact it's more towards her employer for sure.I totally understand the confidentiality clause especially in the insurance business and therefore will not question their response.
Am I out of questions ?
Do i have a right to request a copy of the refusal to join benefits before I contact a lawyer?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You can ask for what you want but the problem is that you don't have any more legal authority than I do to ask for this because even though this was your daughter you don't get the rights she would have if she were living unless you are appointed as administrator of her estate.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks very much for your advice and I shall proceed using legal avenues .
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome.

I hope it works out.